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Woman accused of assisting in suicide is in court today

The case is believed to be the first of its kind in Ireland.

The Criminal Courts of Justice, Dublin
The Criminal Courts of Justice, Dublin
Image: Julien Behal/PA Archive/Press Association Images

A DUBLIN WOMAN is appearing in court today, accused of assisting in another woman’s suicide two years ago. It’s believed to be the first case of its kind in the State.

Gail O’Rorke, from Kilclare Gardens in Tallaght, was charged last month with assisting the suicide of 51-year-old MS sufferer Bernadette Forde in Dublin between 10 March 2011 and 6 June 2011.

Assisting another person to end their own life is a criminal offence in Ireland.  Section 2 (2) of the Criminal Law (Suicide) Act 1993 states that anyone who aids, abets, or procures the suicide of another person – or the attempt by another person to take their own life – can be sentenced to up to fourteen years in jail.

Earlier this year the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution does not contain either a right to suicide or to arrange for the end of one’s life following the court battle by former university lecturer Marie Fleming.

Fleming, who is in the advanced stages of multiple sclerosis, had taken a case to test whether her family would be prosecuted if they helped her to take her own life.

Additional reporting, Christine Bohan.

Supreme Court: Ireland has a right to life, not a right to die >

Poll: Do you think the law should be changed to allow for assisted suicide? >

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