I would like to welcome the Minister to the House for this vital debate. There is no question that this is a very important piece of legislation. I wish to make it clear at the outset that I will be voting with my conscience and with the Government on this issue. Given the intense level of scrutiny on this piece of legislation, and the considerable level of correspondence I have received, I wish to set out why I in particular am voting for this.
Over the past year, I have met men and women both inside and outside of Leinster House who have sought to discuss this issue with me, though I have also met many who are mystified as to why there is so much sound and fury surrounding what they see as a simple piece of legislation which works to enshrine practices that were already the case in many hospitals into law.
In years to come, when we look back on this legislation, we will realise that putting it on the Statue Book was historic. The debate has been, and will continue to be, noteworthy, but I don’t believe the outcome will be. When I first read the legislation, what struck me most was the balance: the Government has worked strenuously to ensure they legislate for the Supreme Court verdict and nothing more.