PanamaTimes

Wednesday, Feb 28, 2024

France To Draft Bill For Legalising "Active Assistance To Dying"

France To Draft Bill For Legalising "Active Assistance To Dying"

The president tasked government with drafting a new law "by summer's end" after a public consultation showed openness to decriminalisation.
France could be the next European country to legalise euthanasia for the terminally ill after President Emmanuel Macron on Monday called for a law on a "French model on the end of life" within months.

The president tasked government with drafting a new law "by summer's end" after a public consultation showed openness to decriminalisation.

Mr Macron's intervention marks a welcome change on an issue close to his heart, after facing months of protests over a massively controversial pension reform.

The committee of 184 French citizens -- which had been tasked by the presidency with drawing up a non-binding recommendation -- on Sunday approved legalising "active assistance to dying".

Meeting the committee on Monday, Mr Macron told members that their opinion would constitute a "starting point", but warned the government would not necessarily follow their suggestions.

"I do not promise you we will pick up one or another of your conclusions. They will take their course," the 45-year-old centrist said.

Mr Macron said caveats to any legalisation should include the need to "guarantee the expression of the enlightened and free will" of a patient, and the incurable nature of their mental or physical suffering.

Until now French patients in pain wishing to end their lives have had to travel abroad, including to neighbouring Belgium.

So far in France, a 2005 law has legalised passive euthanasia, such as withholding artificial life support, as a "right to die".

A 2016 law allows doctors to couple this with "deep and continuous sedation" for terminally ill patients in pain.

But active euthanasia, whereby doctors administer lethal doses of drugs to patients suffering from an incurable condition, is illegal.

Assisted suicide -- whereby patients can receive help to voluntarily take their own life -- is also banned.

European precedents

France's national ethics committee last year said it was open to the terminally ill receiving "active" help in dying.

The consultation committee on Sunday said three quarters of its members were in favour of "active assistance to dying" -- meaning active euthanasia or assisted suicide under certain conditions.

It said it was "essential" that a patient be fully capable of discernment, or evaluating and making such a decision.

Its members were unable to agree on guidelines for cases in which patients had lost their full mental capacity, or were children.

A growing number of countries have over the past few decades opened the door to assisted dying for those in need.

The Netherlands became the first country in the world to legalise both active euthanasia and assisted suicide on April 1, 2002 for patients actively choosing to end "unbearable suffering with no prospect of improvement".

Belgium, Luxembourg and Spain have since followed suit, while Switzerland -- which prohibits euthanasia -- has for decades allowed assisted suicide.

The Netherlands and Belgium have expanded the law to decriminalise euthanasia for some terminally ill children, with the consent of their parents.

Most French in favour

Up to 70 percent of French people are in favour of active help in dying, according to a survey of 1,000 people published on Sunday by newspaper Journal du Dimanche.

But just 36 percent said they would actually consider it for themselves if they were suffering from a painful and incurable illness.

Since being elected in 2017, Macron has often been accused by critics of an imperious, top-down style of governing, a feeling that contributed to sparking the "Yellow Vest" protests of 2018 and 2019.

After winning a second term last year, the former investment banker vowed to carry out "broad national consultation" on a variety of topics.

But critics say his government has largely ignored the results of a previous citizen brainstorming session on climate change.

In recent weeks, he has faced growing public anger over the divisive pension reform his government forced through the hung lower house of parliament, fuelling unrest across the country.

Opinions are also divided over euthanasia and assisted suicide in the National Assembly.

Most on the left and a part of the centre back legalisation, but the right is mostly against.
Newsletter

Related Articles

PanamaTimes
0:00
0:00
Close
Apple warns against drying iPhones with rice
In a recent High Court hearing, the U.S. argued that Julian Assange endangered lives by releasing classified information.
Global Law Enforcement Dismantles Lockbit Ransomware Operation
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
The President of Argentina Javier Mile does not fly private, he flies commercial, with the citizens he represents. And they LOVE him for it.
Bitcoin Reaches $50,000 for First Time in Over Two Years
Belo Horizonte: Brazil's Rising Carnival Hotspot for 2024
In El Salvador, the 'Trump of Latin America' stuns the world with a speech slamming woke policing after winning a landslide election
Tucker’s interview with Putin is over 50M views on X within the first 5 hours.
Finnish Airline, Finnair, is voluntarily weighing passengers to better estimate flight cargo weight
President Nayib Bukele has proudly announced El Salvador's remarkable achievement of becoming the safest nation in the Western Hemisphere.
Former Chilean President Sebastian Piñera Dies in Helicopter Crash
This farmer seems to understand science a bit more than the event organizer, Klaus Schwab.
Facebook turns 20: From Mark Zuckerberg's dormitory to a $1trn company
The Coolest Dictator in the World" on the Path to Victory in El Salvador
Macron, France and fake news
Indian-Origin Man 'King' Arrested For Smuggling $16 Million Drugs Into US
Can someone teach Americans that not every person with slanted eyes is Chinese?
Europe's Farmers Feeding the People, Protesting Against Politicians Who Do Nothing for Their Country and Serve Only Themselves at Taxpayers' Expense
Paris Restaurant That Inspired 'Ratatouille' Loses $1.6 Million Worth Of Wine
Brazilian Police Investigate Bolsonaro's Son for Alleged Illegal Spying
Police in Brazil Raid Residence of Bolsonaro Associate Over Allegations of Illegal Spying
Border Dispute Escalates as Texas Governor Vows Increased Razor Wire
OpenAI Enhances ChatGPT-4 Model, Potentially Addressing AI "Laziness" Issue
The NSA finally acknowledges spying on Americans by acquiring sensitive data
Report Reveals Toxic Telegram Group Generating X-Rated AI-Generated Fake Images of Taylor Swift
US Border Patrol States 'No Plans' to Remove Razor Wire Installed in Texas
Bitcoin Experiences Approximately 20% Decline in Value
Klaus Schwab recently appointed himself as the Earth's "trustee of the future."
DeSantis Drops Out, Endorses Trump.
Nikki Haley said former President Trump is "just not at the same level" of mental fitness as he was while president in 2016.
Residents of a southern Mexican town set the government palace on fire in response to the police killing of a young man
Samsung Launches AI-Driven Galaxy S24, Ushering in New Smartphone Era
Judge Questions SEC's Regulatory Overreach in Coinbase Lawsuit
The Ecuador prosecutor who was investigating the television studio attack, has been assassinated.
Is artificial intelligence the solution to cyber security threats?
Vivek Ramaswamy suspends his US election campaign and endorses Trump.
Viral Satire: A Staged Satirical Clip Mistaken as Real Footage from the 2024 World Economic Forum in Davos
The AI Revolution in the Workforce: CEOs at Davos Predict Major Job Cuts in 2024
Ecuador Reports 178 Hostages in Prison Gang Standoff
The Startling Cuban Espionage Case That Has Rattled the US Government
Two Armed Men in Ecuador, Dressed as Batman and The Joker Storm the Streets.
Armed Gang Raids Ecuadorian TV Station Following State of Emergency Declaration
Anti-Democratic Canada: Journalist Arrested for Questioning Canadian Finance Minister on Support of Terrorist Group
Ecuador's 'Most-Wanted' Criminal Vanishes from Prison
Mexican Cartel Supplied Wi-Fi to Locals Under Threat of Fatal Consequences for Non-Compliance
Border Surge Leads to Over 11,000 Migrants Waiting in Northern Mexico
Outsider Candidates Triumph in Latin American Elections
As Argentina Goes to the Polls, Will the Proposal to Replace the Peso with the Dollar Secure Votes?
Fatal Shark Attack Claims Life of Boston Woman Paddleboarding Near Bahamas Resort, According to Police
×