Brussels, 25 February 2021

Family Solidarity, our FAFCE Member in Ireland, recently presented a submission to the Committee on Justice of the Oireachtas (the National Parliament of the Republic of Ireland), targeting the law proposal “Dying with Dignity Bill 2020”, which would legalise euthanasia and assisted suicide. The submission urges Irish representatives to reject this proposal and to rather affirm a culture of life that safeguards the most vulnerable members of our society and respects the health professionals working in palliative care, who offer their energy and love to ensure dignified final days for their patients.

Family Solidarity stressed several key points:

  • The introduction of euthanasia and assisted suicide profoundly transforms the purpose of the health system and the role of doctors and nurses;
  • It would have a detrimental impact on society and represent a fundamental cultural shift;
  • These practises might become less restrictive in the future and possible abuses are likely to happen, especially toward patients with disabilities.

As the Irish Association for Palliative Care stated: “The acceptance of euthanasia could ultimately be used to contain healthcare costs and, as such, could be considered an option for people with serious illnesses, disabilities or those judged to have a poor quality of life. This could result in, not only a reduction in the resources available to treat and research these conditions, but, more importantly, a failure to protect some of the most vulnerable members of our society.”[1]

This statement has been confirmed for years by the World Medical Association (WMA), which reiterated its opposition to euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide in 2019: “The WMA reiterates its strong commitment to the principles of medical ethics and that utmost respect has to be maintained for human life. Therefore, the WMA is firmly opposed to euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide”.[2]

FAFCE supports the valuable work of our members in protecting the dignity of life at all its stages.

Family Solidarity recently presented the work of FAFCE on the occasion of a Webinar on 13 February 2021. Vincenzo Bassi, FAFCE President, was invited to present the activities and goals of the Federation at the EU level.

Read more on the work of Family Solidarity in Ireland

Stay updated with FAFCE work on human dignity:

[1] Irish Association for Palliative Care Voluntary Euthanasia Discussion Paper (2017).

[2] World Medical Association declaration on Euthanasia and Physician-assisted suicide (13 November 2019).