Vicky Phelan tells TDs to 'allow her to die with dignity' amid calls for support to assisted dying bill
The terminally ill campaigner is backing a new Bill to allow for assisted dyingby Ferghal Blaney
Vicky Phelan wants to be able to choose when to die at a time that suits her and her family.
Ms Phelan said: “Allow me to die with dignity, for my sake and for my young children's.”
The terminally ill campaigner became the human face of the cervical cancer scandal and she is backing a new Bill to allow for assisted suicide.
The Dying with Dignity Bill has been published by People Before Profit TD, Gino Kenny, with the assistance of Ms Phelan.
Ms Phelan added: “I don’t want my children to see me like that (in pain close to death) and all I’m asking for is a choice, to be allowed to make that decision.”
Tom Curran, the wife of Marie Fleming, who dies with his assistance against the law, is also calling for the Government to support the opposition Bill.
And Gail O’Rorke, who was acquitted of charges relating to the death of her friend, Bernadette Forde, by assisted suicide, was also at the legislation launch.
Ms Phelan made a plea to all the politicians in the Dáil to vote in favour of the legislation being introduced by Gino Kenny.
She said: “I would ask all 160 TDs in the Dáil to support this Bill allowing people the right to die.
“I’d like to ask them to put themselves in my shoes, a woman with young children who is going to die.
“Palliative care does not always work.
“I have seen a number of people over the past two and a half years who have died in a hospice, in palliative care, and it’s fantastic when it works, but there are times when it doesn’t and there’s a certain amount of suffering, that can be difficult to manage and I don’t want my children to see me like that.
“All I’m asking for is a choice, to be allowed to make that decision.”
Mr Kenny said: “Today is about starting a discussion on the merits of this legislation.
“I appeal to my fellow TD’s to support the progress of this Bill when it's due for debate later this year.
“I’m calling on party leaders to allow a free vote/vote of conscience, if there isn’t a clear party position to progress the Bill.
“Assisted dying is not about ending life, it’s about ending suffering when you no longer have the option of living.”