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France euthanasia bill to be drafted by end of summer following French citizen’s report.

by | Apr 4, 2023

France’s doctors oppose euthanasia while President Macron plans to legalize euthanasia

By James Schadenberg

France 24 published an article on April 3, 2023 stating that French President Emmanuel Macron will have a euthanasia bill drafted by the end of the summer:

President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday France must improve the availability of palliative care and there would be a draft bill by the end of the summer on whether some form of assisted dying should be allowed.

This announcement came following a French citizen’s report which concluded on April 2, 2023. A group of French citizens were tasked by the French government to discuss and give recommendations on France’s existing legislation concerning euthanasia. According to France 24, the French citizen’s report concluded with 76% of them stating that they favored allowing some form of assistance to die:

He said the bill would build on the work of a group of 184 randomly appointed French citizens who have debated the issue since December. They concluded their work this weekend with 76% of them saying they favored allowing some form of

Macron did not say whether he wanted euthanasia or assisted suicide to be allowed in France or if the bill would include either or both. He said thinking on the matter would continue by then but consensus was important on such a sensitive matter.

The France 24 article notes that France’s national council of doctors, l’Ordre des medecins, recently stated that they oppose euthanasia:

France’s national council of doctors, l’Ordre des medecins, has said it opposes involving doctors in helping people kill themselves.

The statement by l’Ordre des medecins can be viewed here. Their statement in opposition to euthanasia followed nine months of reflection by its departmental and regional councils.

Their statement explicitly opposed euthanasia, stating that practitioners cannot deliberately cause death by the administration of a lethal product:

If the law were to change towards the legalization of active assistance in dying (euthanasia and/or assisted suicide), the College of Physicians intends to assert from now on that it will be unfavorable to the participation of a physician in a process that would lead to euthanasia, the doctor cannot deliberately cause death by administering a lethal product.

They state that, if assisted suicide does become legal, there must be conscience clauses established for doctors who are in opposition to helping patients kill themselves:

In the event of legalization of assisted suicide, the College of Physicians intends to formulate requirements regarding the role and place of the doctor. Thus, the College of Physicians:

Would demand a specific conscience clause which would guarantee the independence of the doctor, including in a health establishment, and which could be highlighted at any time during the procedure. The doctor should be able to continue to follow the patient, even after having invoked this clause. If the doctor no longer wishes to take care of his patient, he should refer him to a doctor likely to take care of him;

Is unfavorable to the active participation of the doctor when taking the lethal product by the patient. However, the order of doctors considers that the doctor who would not have asserted his conscience clause could remain present and accompany his patient until his last moment.

It is significant to note that citizens of France are trying to make it so that doctors can kill their patients while the doctors who’d be doing the killing are actively opposing it. It is interesting that the French government is trying to legalize euthanasia while acknowledging the poor state of palliative care in France. As can be seen in Canada, the combination of euthanasia (MAiD) expansions and a poor palliative care system leads to people, who are receiving insufficient care, being pressured into asking for death by euthanasia even when they do not wish to die.

The people of France need to follow the Canadian stories to know where legalizing euthanasia leads. The French need to demand that their politicians say no to euthanasia or assisted suicide.

Editor’s note. This appeared on the blog of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and is reposted with permission.

Categories: Euthanasia
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