Friday, 19 February 2021
An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business
One of those rapporteurs is a distinguished Irish academic, Mr. Gerard Quinn. The group expressed alarm at a growing trend to enact legislation enabling access to medically assisted dying based largely on having a disability or disabling condition, including in old age. The group warned that euthanasia was increasingly being availed of by poorer people and people from racial and sexual minorities. This opinion stated that these legislative provisions tend to rest on, or draw strength from, ableist assumptions about the inherent quality of life or worth of the life of a person with a disability. We have seen the negative developments in places such as Belgium, the Netherlands and Canada. The negative trajectory in respect of euthanasia is clear. This raises questions, not only for the Dáil which has the so-called Dying with Dignity Bill 2020 to consider or for the Oireachtas Select Committee on Justice which will also have to consider it, but for the Houses of the Oireachtas regarding how to vindicate human dignity.Facilitating access to assisted suicide or assisted dying is not the compassionate response and, increasingly, it is seen to be a counterproductive response because it sets us on a negative trajectory, which is detrimental to people's lives and happiness.