An Oireachtas committee will likely put a hold on a Private Members’ bill that would have made assisted suicide legal in Ireland, according to the author of the bill. However, he says the topic could now go before either a special Oireachtas committee or a Citizens’ Assembly meaning it is still very much on the cards.
People Before Profit TD for Dublin Mid-West, Gino Kenny, said in a tweet that it’s becoming evident that the Justice Committee will not be recommending the progress of the Dying with Dignity bill.
The far-left TD added: “This is a complete prevarication of the issue and the bill. There was no policy scrutiny just a legal opinion which could have been overcome. A shambolic process”.
His bill would permit anyone likely to die from an illness to avail of assisted suicide no matter how far from death they actually are.
Serious legal concerns had been raised about the bill by the Office of Parliamentary Legal Advisers.
A confidential memo to the Justice Committee raised a range of issues including that parts of the Bill would be vulnerable to a constitutional challenge due to an “overdelegation of ministerial power”.
It identified “ambiguities and serious drafting errors” in several sections of the Bill, containing flaws that could render them vulnerable to challenge before the courts.
It also found that it had no enforceable compliance or offence provisions, “which is hugely problematic for this legislation given the statements from both the Irish Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights on the utmost importance of safeguards in legislation such as this”.