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Special committee on assisted dying expected to begin in October

TD Gino Kenny says he hopes it is the beginning of a serious conversation around the issue.

Image: Alamy Stock Photo

A SPECIAL OIREACHTAS Committee to examine the issue of voluntary assisted dying is expected to commence in October, according to People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny.

Kenny, who tabled the Dying with Dignity Bill, welcomed the imminent establishment of the committee, stating that he hopes it will be the “beginning of a serious conversation in eventually changing the law around this issue in the lifetime of this government”.

He told The Journal that it is “imperative that the committee and the public hear from the broad spectrum of this important debate”. 

The formation of the committee was recommended in July, following the passage of the Dying with Dignity Bill in the Dáil last year.

The legislation would permit terminally ill people to avail of medical assistance to die in certain circumstances. It would give a medical practitioner the legal right to provide assistance to a qualifying person to end their life.

The Oireachtas Justice Committee recommended the formation of a special committee on the issue earlier this year, after finding that the proposed legislation had “serious technical issues” and warranted more detailed examination.

The Oireachtas Justice Committee’s recommendation followed lengthy scrutiny of the bill, including seeking public submissions on the topic, after it was passed last year.

Committee chair James Lawless also said at the time that the gravity of the topic would benefit from more thorough consideration.

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