Published Monday, 29 April 2013
Marie Fleming, lost her appeal on Monday. (© UTV)
Marie Fleming was too ill to attend Monday's Supreme Court hearing.
She had appealed for the seven-judge court to allow her to die peacefully at home in the arms of her partner Tom Curran without him facing the threat of being prosecuted and possibly jailed.
The family have said they expect the 59-year-old former university lecturer from Arklow, Co Wicklow, will now consider taking her case to Europe.
Mr Curran was flanked by Ms Fleming's children, Corrinna and Simon, and his son, David, as he listened to the court's decision.
He squeezed Corrinna's hand as the Chief Justice Susan Denham ruled against the appeal.
"The court will dismiss the appeal of the appellant in this very tragic case," the judge said.
The court rejected Ms Fleming's case that the right to die would be limited to a small group of people.
"It has not generally been the jurisprudence of the Irish Constitution that rights can be identified for a limited group of persons in particular circumstances no matter how tragic and heart-rending they may be," the court found.
The court also found no constitutional right to die by suicide or to arrange for the determination of life at a chosen time.
Afterwards, surrounded by Ms Fleming's legal team and the family, and clutching a copy of the judgment in his hand, he made a phone call delivering the news.
In an emotional statement outside the court, Tom Curran said he would act according to Ms Fleming's wishes.
"The court has ruled on Marie's future as far as they're concerned and we will now go back to Wicklow and live our lives until such a time when Marie makes up her mind that she has had enough," he said.
"And in that case, the court will have the opportunity to decide on my future."
Asked if he would help Ms Fleming to die, he said: "That will only come up when Marie makes a decision herself."
© UTV News