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Referendum for Euthanasia

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,596 ✭✭✭Hitman3000


    Eire212 wrote:
    I don't think euthanasia was specified? Does anyone know if this is one of those 7 referendums? I personally think this would be the most significant referendum for Ireland.


    There would be no need for a referendum. It can be legislated for by the Dail. No need to insert it in the constitution.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,742 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    Hitman3000 wrote: »
    There would be no need for a referendum. It can be legislated for by the Dail. No need to insert it in the constitution.
    Actually, that's debatable, since the Constitution still recognises a right to life.

    Politically, though, there's no chance of a referendum. The marriage equality referendum and the abortion referendum are both the outcome of a process which started with the issues being addressed in a constitutional convention. This enabled some fairly rational, informed discussion which avoided the very polarised discourse that they normally attract. It also enabled politicians to take a risk, so to speak, by advancing socially progressive measures on the grounds that the initiative came from the Convention.

    With hindsight, this has been an effective way of getting progress on an intractable and politically hazardous issue, and I think it provides a model whereby similarly difficult issues can be addressed in the future.

    But of course euthenasia wasn't on the agenda at the constitutional convention. It might be, at the next constitutional convention, but that's not going to happen until the issues raised by the last convention have all been addressed, and we have a government with an appetite for a new convention.


  • Registered Users Posts: 80,487 ✭✭✭✭Overheal


    I only read 4 listed referenda.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14 Eire212


    Overheal wrote: »
    I only read 4 listed referenda.
    So do i, but says 7 in total in heading, hence why I'm askiing


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,885 ✭✭✭✭Riskymove


    Eire212 wrote: »
    So do i, but says 7 in total in heading, hence why I'm askiing

    1 The Eighth Amendment
    October 2018:
    2. Blasphemy and
    3.the “Woman’s life within the home”

    October 2018: 4. Plebiscite on directly elected mayors in certain cities

    June 2019:
    5. Divorce;

    6. Giving voting rights at Presidential elections to members of the diaspora and

    7 lowering the voting age to 16.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,885 ✭✭✭✭Riskymove


    out of interest is this euthanaisa or assisted suicide you are talking about?


  • Registered Users Posts: 80,487 ✭✭✭✭Overheal


    Those all actually sound like reasonable changes if you ask me.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,885 ✭✭✭✭Riskymove


    The plebiscite is not actually a referendum and will only take place in the areas wher a Mayor is proposed


  • Registered Users Posts: 14 Eire212


    Riskymove wrote: »
    out of interest is this euthanaisa or assisted suicide you are talking about?

    I think both should be perfectly legal. Thanks for that correction.


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,749 ✭✭✭✭Sleeper12


    Eire212 wrote:
    I don't think euthanasia was specified? Does anyone know if this is one of those 7 referendums? I personally think this would be the most significant referendum for Ireland.

    It would get a yes from me


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  • Registered Users Posts: 14,322 ✭✭✭✭jimmycrackcorm


    Peregrinus wrote:
    But of course euthenasia wasn't on the agenda at the constitutional convention. It might be, at the next constitutional convention, but that's not going to happen until the issues raised by the last convention have all been addressed, and we have a government with an appetite for a new convention.

    The question then is, how to get it on the agenda.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,279 ✭✭✭The Bishop Basher


    The question then is, how to get it on the agenda.

    This is one I’ve been waiting to get involved in. It’s years away but I think it’s time we started organising and making some noise.

    I’m very thankful that I don’t currently have any skin in the game but we never know what’s around the corner and I’d like to have the comfort of knowing I have the choice to end my own life with dignity when the time comes.

    It’s 1000% yes from me. Let’s make it happen.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,099 ✭✭✭Technocentral


    Hitman3000 wrote:
    There would be no need for a referendum. It can be legislated for by the Dail. No need to insert it in the constitution.


    Totally agree, am sure the same ****s trying to control women's bodies will be screaming murder on this one too.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,774 ✭✭✭circadian


    1 The Eighth Amendment done and dusted
    October 2018:
    2. Blasphemy get rid
    3.the “Woman’s life within the home” get rid or at least change it, archaic regardless

    October 2018: 4. Plebiscite on directly elected mayors in certain cities yeah cool let's do this too

    June 2019:
    5. Divorce;what about divorce? Is it lowering the 5 year limit? If so them I'm all for it

    6. Giving voting rights at Presidential elections to members of the diaspora not sure how I feel about this

    7 lowering the voting age to 16 yes please


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,418 ✭✭✭✭_Brian


    Hitman3000 wrote: »
    There would be no need for a referendum. It can be legislated for by the Dail. No need to insert it in the constitution.

    Absolutely.
    We need to ensure that there are no more medical issues enshrined into our constitution.


  • Registered Users Posts: 33,364 ✭✭✭✭Hotblack Desiato
    Golgafrinchan 'B' Ark


    The Supreme Court in the Marie Fleming case ruled that a referendum would not be required in order to legislate for assisted suicide.

    https://independent.ie/irish-news/courts/marie-fleming-loses-supreme-court-righttodie-case-29228686.html
    Judge Denham said that there is no constitutional right to commit suicide or to arrange for the termination of ones life at the time of their own choosing.

    Judge Denham added that there was nothing in the judgment to prevent the State from introducing legislative measures, with appropriate safeguards, to deal with cases such as Ms Flemings.

    Here's what you could have won.



  • Registered Users Posts: 68,317 ✭✭✭✭seamus


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    Actually, that's debatable, since the Constitution still recognises a right to life.
    For euthanasia, as in the early ending of a person's life without consent, a constitutional referendum would definitely be required.

    Assisted suicide though, wouldn't.

    Then you have the grey area of advanced healthcare directives - but as long as they only specify inaction rather than euthanasia, then there's no constitutional issue.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,742 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    seamus wrote: »
    For euthanasia, as in the early ending of a person's life without consent, a constitutional referendum would definitely be required.

    Assisted suicide though, wouldn't.

    Then you have the grey area of advanced healthcare directives - but as long as they only specify inaction rather than euthanasia, then there's no constitutional issue.
    I think that's probably correct. Still, it's a tricky area, with some blurry lines. Hotblack has rightly pointed to Denham's observervation in the Marie Fleming case, but that's not a binding precedent - it's a comment on an issue not actually raised by the facts of that case. I think any legislation in this area would probably find itself before the courts for constitutional scrutiny sooner or later, and it's possible that a government minded to act on this point would reckon that the safest way to proceed would be to start with a constitutional referendum confirming the power of the Oireachtas to legislate in this area.

    (I'm not expecting that any time soon, mind you.)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,070 ✭✭✭Franz Von Peppercorn


    Euthanasia is a much trickier subject. I personally believe that we should help people leave the world with dignity but the murkiness comes when the person themselves may not be in a position to agree, or worse are fully cognisant but are bullied by their offspring or feel compelled to leave the world for reasons that are not wholly their own - a doctor or medical professionals trying to save money or a bed in a hospice etc.


  • Registered Users Posts: 68,317 ✭✭✭✭seamus


    or worse are fully cognisant but are bullied by their offspring or feel compelled to leave the world for reasons that are not wholly their own - a doctor or medical professionals trying to save money or a bed in a hospice etc.
    Well you see, now you're just talking about suicide rather than euthanasia.

    And the thing which surprised me is that in countries with assisted suicide, the volume of people officially applying for the necessary drugs to carry out a solo suicide is tiny in comparison to the number of assisted suicides.

    In other words, people who don't need assistance, will just commit suicide. They don't care about red tape and boxes. Obviously.

    So the "bullied" or "compelled" cohort already exist, and they're already committing suicide. Legalising assisted suicide won't really affect that.

    Especially if you assume that all assisted suicides will take place on terminally ill people.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 25,742 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    seamus wrote: »
    Well you see, now you're just talking about suicide rather than euthanasia.

    And the thing which surprised me is that in countries with assisted suicide, the volume of people officially applying for the necessary drugs to carry out a solo suicide is tiny in comparison to the number of assisted suicides.

    In other words, people who don't need assistance, will just commit suicide. They don't care about red tape and boxes. Obviously.

    So the "bullied" or "compelled" cohort already exist, and they're already committing suicide. Legalising assisted suicide won't really affect that.

    Especially if you assume that all assisted suicides will take place on terminally ill people.
    I think we need to define our terms carefully.

    Euthenasia is the act of bringing about a gentle or easy death. It need have nothing to do with the actual or presumed consent or wishes of the patient. We practice euthanasia on sick animals, for example.

    Assisted suicide or assisted dying is the action of providing assistance to someone who wants to die, but who for one reason or another is unable to carry their wishes into effect on their own.

    Obviously there's an overlap; if we are assisting somebody who wants to die, both the patient and those assisting him will want to use methods that provide a gentle, easy death.

    There are also "blurry areas", which arise in (at least) two contexts.

    - Where a patient is unable to express his wishes. Do we act on what we think his wishes would be, if he could express them? Or do we adopt some other basis for acting? Do we act in his best interests? What are those? Or can we act for our own benefit? ("I can't bear to see my mother like this.") What if the patient is not only incapable of expressing a wish to die, but incapable for forming one?

    - Where the patient hasn't expressed a wish to die, but medical treatment which would, e.g, relieve suffering would also have the effect of shortening his life? Is that euthenasia? Does the answer depend on how much his life would be shortened by?

    All kinds of morally difficult issues come up here, which require very thoughtful consideration. This is not the kind of thing that is best addressed by blanket constitutional provisions. I suggest the only referendum we should have on this subject (if we are to have one at all) is a referendum to amend the Constitution to provide that the Oireachtas can deal with this by legislation.


  • Registered Users Posts: 68,317 ✭✭✭✭seamus


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    There are also "blurry areas", which arise in (at least) two contexts.
    Which are further complicated by the fact that inaction on the part of the state or another person does not constitute "killing". Meaning there's a difference between

    - allowing the person to pass because you aren't treating them,
    - providing something designed to intentionally end their life ,
    - the case that you point out of providing care that will incidentally end their life, but is intended for relief
    - Withdrawing care which is maintaining their life but not improving it

    I agree that clear definition of terms is important otherwise you end up with all sorts of confusion. The thread on AH got about 200 posts in before someone piped up incredulous that everyone was talking so positively about sending their Granny to the gas chamber.

    Personally I would always had saive that Euthanasia implied non-consent. This is why we call it that for animals. If the individual consents, then it's suicide, assisted or otherwise.

    But I agree that in broader use, it appears that euthanasia is defined by a minimal-pain and gentle death, regardless of consent. So let's go with that.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,742 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    Well, except that people who call for the legalisation of euthenasia are presumably calling for legalisation only where there is consent, or at least presumed consent. But they often don't say so explicitly; hence the confusion.

    I think it's probably better to avoid the term entirely. Whatever we do in end-of-life cases, I think we can take it for granted that no-one wants to take steps which will make deaths harder or more painful. So there is no need to call on language that emphasises gentle or easy death. The discouse needs to focus on what steps we do or don't take to prolong life, or bring death about.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,545 ✭✭✭eire4


    circadian wrote: »
    1 The Eighth Amendment done and dusted
    October 2018:
    2. Blasphemy get rid
    3.the “Woman’s life within the home” get rid or at least change it, archaic regardless

    October 2018: 4. Plebiscite on directly elected mayors in certain cities yeah cool let's do this too

    June 2019:
    5. Divorce;what about divorce? Is it lowering the 5 year limit? If so them I'm all for it

    6. Giving voting rights at Presidential elections to members of the diaspora not sure how I feel about this

    7 lowering the voting age to 16 yes please


    I would be a yes vote for all of those referendums.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,107 ✭✭✭TomOnBoard


    Eire212 wrote: »
    I think both should be perfectly legal. Thanks for that correction.

    Unless it's voluntary on the part of the person being euthanised, they are quite different things.

    Voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide may amount to similar events. However, unless you're talking about voluntary euthanasia, you're talking about murder.


  • Registered Users Posts: 33,364 ✭✭✭✭Hotblack Desiato
    Golgafrinchan 'B' Ark


    Jeez. We're not a week over the last vote and already we have people weighing in with the m-word again...

    Here's what you could have won.



  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,070 ✭✭✭Franz Von Peppercorn


    Jeez. We're not a week over the last vote and already we have people weighing in with the m-word again...

    Almost like we are talking about two different topics, right?


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,279 ✭✭✭The Bishop Basher


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    Well, except that people who call for the legalisation of euthenasia are presumably calling for legalisation only where there is consent, or at least presumed consent. But they often don't say so explicitly; hence the confusion.

    I think it's probably better to avoid the term entirely. Whatever we do in end-of-life cases, I think we can take it for granted that no-one wants to take steps which will make deaths harder or more painful. So there is no need to call on language that emphasises gentle or easy death. The discouse needs to focus on what steps we do or don't take to prolong life, or bring death about.

    I get what your saying but I also don’t think we should pussy foot around the terminology here. Euthanasia is the ending of a life to relieve suffering. I’ve never heard of anyone put forward an argument for anything other then voluntary euthanasia. It’s implicitly implied as the alternative is otherwise known as murder and carries a lengthy jail term.


  • Registered Users Posts: 33,364 ✭✭✭✭Hotblack Desiato
    Golgafrinchan 'B' Ark


    Almost like we are talking about two different topics, right?

    Two different topics but with the same hyperbolic nonsense from certain quarters as soon as they're mentioned, in an attempt to push emotional buttons and prevent rational discussion.

    That was my point.

    Here's what you could have won.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,107 ✭✭✭TomOnBoard


    Two different topics but with the same hyperbolic nonsense from certain quarters as soon as they're mentioned, in an attempt to push emotional buttons and prevent rational discussion.

    That was my point.

    Some of us are simply trying to be clear on what exactly is suggested as meriting a referendum. Surely it is necessary that, there ought not be ANY ambiguity in what is being proposed. If there is confusion, then it is necessary to call that out. Yes or no?


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