End of Life Ireland

What happened to the 'Dying
with Dignity Bill 2020'?

Ireland is changing and so too are attitudes around how we live and die. We believe a ‘good death’ is possible for everyone. VAD may not be your choice, what we ask is that you support the right for people to choose for themselves.

The Dying with Dignity Bill 2020 was submitted to the Dáil as a private members bill by Gino Kelly (TD) in October 2020. This Bill provided for the option of Voluntary Assisted Dying at end of life for those suffereing with terminal illnesses (only). The Bill received wide-spread public support however, the Justice Committee charged with assessing the Bill chose not to proceed with the Dying with Dignity Bill (2020).

Instead, in July 2021, the Justice Committee determined that a Special Committee was the most appropriate route to progress legislation for Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD). The Committee will be comprised of up of 12 TD’s proportionately represented by each of the parties.

Since the Dáil returned in September 2021, the Oireachtas Business Committee charged with the task has not yet set up the Special Committee.

Sign and Share our Uplift Petition to expedite the set up of this Special Committee.

Oireachtas Submissions on the 'Dying with Dignity Bill 2020'

End of Life Ireland (EOLI) made a submission to the Justice Committee reviewing the Dying with Dignity Bill 2020. Throughout the submission we have emphasised our core values of choice and compassion.

By choice, we mean people suffering from a terminal illness (only) who wish to end their lives have that choice. By compassion we mean it is a desirable goal to reduce suffering in our society. Compassion will ensure no-one will suffer a prolonged painful death against their wishes.

The submission is based upon our research of the practice around Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD, our preferred term) in countries such as Holland and Canada. Based on international research, we argue that there is no evidence that ‘vulnerable groups’, such as the very elderly, or those with intellectual or physical impairments are adversely affected by the availability of VAD. No such legislation has ever been repealed, reflecting the high levels of acceptance in societies where it is available. We argue that international experience shows that safeguards work.


Irish Doctors Submission to the Oireachtas

Irish Doctors supporting Medical Assistance in Dying (IDsMAiD) is a group of medical doctors, with a strong belief in individual patient autonomy, who support choices for people at the end of their lives.

“We believe that a person approaching the end of their life, should be provided with accessible, high-quality and evidence-based care to minimise suffering and support their wishes. Every citizen should be able to access their choice of medical care, including palliative care and Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD). Their individual choices should be discussed, encouraged and promoted. Any genuine choice by a patient, including MAiD, should be respected and supported.”

Irish Doctors supporting MAiD submission to the Oireachtas Justice Committee in consideration of the Dying with Dignity Bill

Dignity in Dying (UK) make a submission to the Oireachtas Justice Committee

Dignity in Dying (UK) is a not-for-profit membership organisation based in the United Kingdom and is the leading campaign group for the legalisation of assisted dying throughout the UK. Their membership is drawn from across the UK and includes over 3,000 supporters in Northern Ireland. As the Dying with Dignity Bill would, if enacted in its current form, permit terminally ill, mentally competent residents of the island of Ireland to access assisted dying, they lend their support to the Bill on behalf of their members in Northern Ireland.


Supporting residents on the island of Ireland, Dignity in Dying (U.K.) have also made a submission to the Oireachtas Justice Committee.

Want to learn more about End of Life choices and Voluntary Assisted Dying in Ireland?

Over on our blog, our committee member Alan Tuffery describes how he has prepared his end of life affairs in a series of five short blog posts including how to complete our Advance Healthcare Directive to ensure your wishes for end of life care are available to your loved ones. Alan has printed a number of Advance Healthcare Directives and is happy to post one out to anyone who would like to receive a paper copy.

We have an extensive FAQ section. If you have any further questions please use email us at info@endoflifeireland.ie. Our committee will make every endeavour to respond to your questions!

Watch our committee member Helen O’Shaughnessy’s talk. Since graduating as a nurse in 1981, Helen’s nursing experience extended to working in Scotland, the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Australia and New Zealand. She has actively campaigned for social change, including abortion rights, separation of church and state and the removal of blasphemy laws from the Irish Constitution.  As an active Humanist and accredited celebrant in NZ, she moved back to Ireland in 2017 to care for her late sister who was then terminally Ill.