Minister John Halligan still intent on legislation for assisted suicide

Independent Alliance Minister John Halligan is lobbying colleagues in the Dail to legislate for euthanasia in the next Dail term. Critics say euthanasia and assisted suicide always target the most vulnerable.

Halligan, the junior minister for skills, has approached several opposition TDs with a view to having them introduce a private member’s bill, as his position as a minister means he cannot do this himself. He vowed that legislation would be tabled “one way or the other” after the summer.

The Waterford TD said a number of TDs had indicated that they would back a bill.

Halligan introduced a private member’s bill on assisted suicide in the last Dail but it fell when the 2016 general election was called. It would have enabled euthanasia in cases when a person was terminally ill, over the age of 18, and had been living in Ireland for at least a year. “Terminally ill” was defined as someone who had been diagnosed by a doctor as having an “incurable and progressive illness that cannot be reversed by treatment, and the person is likely to die as a result of that illness or complications relating to it”.