Tom Curran, a campaigner seeking the legalisation of assisted suicide, has said that the reported numbers of Irish people going abroad for euthanasia are artificially low as people conceal their origin for fear of prosecution once the surviving members of the party return home.
Statistics from one clinic, Dignitas in Switzerland, show that nine Irish people have ended their lives there in the last 20 years whereas the figure for the UK was 415 and for France 330. Mr Curran has claimed the numbers of Irish who have gone to Dignitas for euthanasia could be “at least double” what the figures showed. He said: “I know several people who have travelled from Ireland in the last few years and who have used the UK as an address. They’re not registering that they’re from Ireland after the Gail O’Rorke case and that’s why the numbers appear so low.”
Gail O’Rorke was prosecuted in this country after she had brought a friend to Switzerland to be euthanised. She was subsequently acquitted.
Mr Curran is a member of Exit International which supports euthanasia on broad-ranging grounds and not just when a person is terminally ill.