The High Court ruling today on assisted suicide is very interesting in the context of preparations for abortion legislation, in particular the pro-life assertion that legislation allowing for abortion because of suicide ideation will be impossible to control or limit.
Of course when you say this you get the "I've never been so insulted in all my life" response, as if doctors and women would never dream to conspire to abuse the system. Short answer - 500 abortions a day in Great Britain by women pretending to be mentally ill and confirmed by two doctors. Why would Ireland be diferent? And even if Irish doctors are different, Marie Stopes and Planned Parenthood will be only too happy to open a clinic.
So, what did the High Court say today on assisted suicide. Basically they would love to help out this particular plaintiff:
If the court could tailor make a solution that would affect Ms Fleming only without implications for third parties there might be a good deal to be said for her case.
However, the court could not be so satisfied.
There was ample evidence to demonstrate that a relaxation of the ban would be impossible to tailor to individual cases and would be inimical to the public interest in protecting the most vulnerable in society.
The court also ruled it would be unconstitutional for the DPP to issue guidelines on prosecutions for assisted suicide, but the court "felt sure" the director "in this of all cases" would exercise her discretion in a humane and sensitive fashion.
In terms of abortion, the 1862 Act maintains the general disgust against abortion and it is vital that it remains in law. In practice, genuine medical procedures carried out by doctors which result in the death of a child are not interpreted as abortion. So what's the problem? Really there isn't one.