End of Life Ireland

Our views

Ireland is changing and so too are attitudes around how we live and die. The Dying with Dignity Bill 2020 is before the Dáil and choice at end of life, including Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) is on the agenda. EOLI 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. 

With a more compassionate understanding of VAD, the Dying with Dignity Bill 2020 will enable residents on the island of Ireland facing mortality through terminal illness to die here in Ireland with safeguards and supports in place. Currently there is no option for VAD in Ireland and people with terminal illnesses are forced to consider travelling overseas to die or suicide. People are afraid to discuss their concerns or seek support because the maximum prison sentence for assisting suicide is up to 14 years.

VAD is one of the options available in an increasing number of countries. Legislation for VAD respects personal autonomy. Knowing VAD is an option gives invaluable peace of mind whether or not that choice is exerted. In Oregon where VAD has been available for over 20 years now, over 35 percent of the prescriptions to Oregonians given were not used. What mattered was knowing the prescription was there to be taken at a time of their own choosing. This greatly reduced their fear of death and gave those people great peace of mind.

Whilst we are in good health and of sound mind, it is essential we make good decisions about our well-being and health care. This will allow us live with peace of mind as we move towards the end of life. Our aim is to provide information through this website,  online events, newsletters and on social media to help you make informed decisions about your own health care and that of people you love. Just as the Marriage Equality campaign highlighted and continues to address inequality across many areas of Irish life, we hope this legislation will lead to an improvement in all end of life services and an increased focus on palliative care

Read our Oireachteas submission on the Dying with Dignity Bill and please come back to read more as we add to our website.

 

Helen O’Shaughnessy

As an active Humanist and accredited celebrant in NZ, she moved back to Ireland in 2017 to care for her sister who was terminally Ill. Dying with Dignity she feels is a fundamental human right something not afforded to her sister, or many others. She has actively campaigned for social change, including abortion rights, separation of church and state, Removal of Blasphemy Laws from the Irish Constitution.

 

Corry de Jongh

Corry has been living in Dublin for over 40 years and practises as a senior family psychotherapist and supervisor in the Clanwilliam Institute and with the HSE in Ireland. She has a particular interest in ageing and dying and actively promotes discussion about end of-life issues. . In her talk she tells the moving and empowering story of a dear friend, who at the age of 99 exercised her choice to end her life with medical assistance as permitted under Dutch law.