Euthanasia and assisted suicide have no place in Irish society or anywhere in the world, a psychiatrist has warned.
Writing in the Irish Independent, Professor Patricia Casey, Consultant Psychiatrist at the Hermitage Medical Clinic in Dublin, spoke out against the push to legalise the practices in the Republic.
She said: “Physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia (PAS-E) are bedfellows and their life-sucking tentacles should have no part in Irish society, or in any society anywhere in the world. Ever.”
Prof Casey highlighted the strong opposition to assisted suicide from medics in Ireland with the Colleges of Physicians, Surgeons, and Palliative Care all against it.
She warned: “When people are vulnerable, they may seemingly consent to or request the ending of their lives. But this may be under pressure directly from family, or more subtly, the social attitude to suffering and illness that views these as a burden to be avoided.
their life-sucking tentacles should have no part in Irish society, or in any society anywhere in the world. Ever.
“No matter what the attempts in law are to limit the choice for assisted suicide to those with terminal illnesses who have full capacity, this becomes eroded as more and more conditions are brought within its ambit. And at each step, the argument is that this addition is reasonable and restrictive.”
In December, the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland published a paper outlining their strong opposition to assisted suicide and euthanasia ahead of another attempt to legalise the dangerous practices.
The misleadingly named Dignity in Dying Bill has passed the first two stages in the Dáil and is set to be considered by an Oireachtas committee.
The psychiatrists said: “Assisted dying is contrary to the efforts of psychiatrists, other mental health staff and the public to prevent deaths by suicide.
“It is likely to place vulnerable people at risk – many requests for assisted dying stem from issues such as fear of being a burden or fear of death rather than from intractable pain. Improvements in existing services should be deployed to manage these issues.”