Minister of State for Innovation John Halligan says he believes in assisted suicide and would help someone if they were terminally ill and in pain. The Independent Waterford TD has written an assisted suicide Bill which he hopes will be introduced shortly. “The objective of the Bill is that people who are terminally ill, who will die within six months, who are going through insufferable pain, that they should have a right to die,” he said. “It’s not criminally wrong to commit suicide in Ireland but it’s wrong legislatively or criminally if you help someone, if you assist somebody with suicide. I think that’s terrible.”While he is optimistic about the Bill being passed, he said that it is “probably a step too far in a relatively conservative country that it would be passed on first go. It probably won’t be but it will be interesting to see how many people vote for it.?When asked if he would assist someone looking for help to end their life he said he would think very carefully about it: “I would certainly give them all the details regarding Dignitas in Switzerland, how to get there. Even as I say this, it is probably illegal to do that. What the heck, I believe in it. So I’m not going to shrug back from it. If I believe in assisted suicide, I have to go through and believe that I would help people. I think I probably would help them yes.”He said there were safeguards in the Bill such as an independent second opinion and that he would be willing to listen to amendments from anybody or any party to the Bill.
(The Irish Times, Harry McGee, Vivienne Clarke – August 5, 2016)