Thank you to Paul Russell for writing this article and posting it on the Hope Australia website.
It was a great privilege to be invited to be present at the launch of the new organisation, HOPE Ireland and to speak at their inaugural conference in Dublin on the 6th of June.
Dr Kevin Fitzpatrick, director of HOPE Ireland, convened the conference in the wake of recent announcements that a bill will soon be tabled in the Dail (Parliament) in the nation's first attempt through the parliament at legalising assisted suicide.
Alex Schadenberg, head of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition International opened the conference and set the scene with the troubling history of both euthanasia and assisted suicide in the few jurisdictions where these practices are approved in law.
William Binchy, Fellow Emeritus, School of Law at Trinity College Dublin outlined the current case law on euthanasia and assisted suicide and reflected on the challenges that these decisions pose to the protection and application of human rights.
Caroline Roux explained the current troubling developments in France including a dangerous decision in the European Court of Human Rights that endorsed a French Court's earlier decision to starve and dehydrate Vincent Lambert.
Henk Reitsema (Holland) and Tom Mortier (Belgium) outlined their personal and family distress at the euthanasia deaths of a family member while Henk also exposed the undercover killing of patients without consent occurring through the specious use of sedation and then dehydration to death in The Netherlands.