Ireland's Supreme Court Rejects Assisted Suicide

Rules that current laws don't allow for it


A paralyzed Irish woman who wants to die cannot legally commit suicide with her partner's help, Ireland's Supreme Court ruled Monday in a case that has moved the nation.

The seven-judge court said nothing in the country's 1937 constitution could authorize the deliberate taking of a life on humanitarian grounds. It said lawmakers could pass such a law to permit 59-year-old Marie Fleming to die at a time of her choosing, but no such statute existed yet.

Fleming, a former University College Dublin lecturer who is unable to move from the neck down because of advanced multiple sclerosis, testified that her life had been reduced to untreatable agony and she feared choking to death because she couldn't swallow.