On Monday, France’s President Emmanuel Macron announced that the French parliament by September will approve an assistance-to-die bill with the recommendations made by a Citizen Convention, which discussed the issue for over three months.
That Convention, composed by 184 randomly-selected French citizens, concluded on Sunday that some forms of assistance in dying should be legal for citizens who request so. The Convention, however, stressed that strict criteria and safeguards should exist on the related procedures.
“I want to establish an assistance-to-die model that respects the will of the patients and the incurability of their psychological or physical sufferings,” Macron stated.
The President stressed that assistance-to-die procedures should not be approved for loneliness grounds, which he considered a “red line” in the debate on the topic.
Macron acknowledged that the French state must ensure access to accompanying care at the end of life and recalled that the bill to be approved by September is likely to include a ten-year national plan to improve palliative care, which the Convention said is currently insufficient.
The French in-force law allows that medical staff administers deep and continuous sedation to terminally ill patients with unbearable suffering. The law, however, does not authorize assisted suicide, which entitles patients to inject themselves with a lethal product, or euthanasia, which enables caregivers to administer them so.
According to a survey published on Sunday by Le Journal du Dimanche outlet, 70 percent of French citizens back the approval of active help to die. However, only 36 percent of them would consider using euthanasia if they were suffering from a painful and incurable disease.