Update: State begins presenting its argument to Supreme Court on right-to-die appeal

Marie FlemmingLawyers for the State have told the Supreme Court that opposing a challenge to Ireland's ban on assisted suicide was not meant to convey a lack of sympathy.

Seven Judges are hearing a case taken by Multipple Sclerosis sufferer and right-to-die campaigner, Marie Fleming.

Barrister Michael Cush began by explaining the State's position didn't mean it had a  lack of sympathy for Marie Fleming's "very dificult personal circumstances."

The State says the decriminalisation of suicide does not automatically confer a

'right' to suicide and that the primary constitutional concept is to protect life.

Mr Cush said the Community has a common interest in the right to life and that a general right to suicide would run counter to the common good.

He said it could mean a single parent with a young family would have enforceable right to commit suicide.

Addressing suggestions that assisted suicide could be facilitated under strict conditions, the barrister asked, "how much suffering would be needed to qualify?"