Euthanasia Attitudes towards euthanasia in Europe are easing, France is considering legalizing death aid

According to a Finnish expert, pro-euthanasia stems from the fear of death and the deplorable state of convalescent care and care for the elderly.

French on Thursday, parliament began a debate on allowing euthanasia. If the bill passed, France would become the Fifth EU country to remove the law on the punishment of assisted suicide.

In the past, a similar decision has been taken by the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and Spain.

As everywhere else, the debate is expected to be heated. Right-wing parties have threatened to cram the bill by making thousands of amendments to it. The Catholic Church also strongly opposes the proposal.

The French government is better than the president Emmanuel Macron have been reluctant to take a direct position on the tiny Member of Parliament for Libertes et Territoires Olivier Falornin presentation. However, an interview with Macron in 2017 has been excavated from the archives, in which he states that “for my part, I could say that I would like to decide to end my life myself”.

Falorni, for his part, has accused opponents of his bill of hypocrisy because traveling from France for euthanasia to countries where it is allowed. In addition, doctors in France secretly assist euthanasia between 2,000 and 4,000 people each year.

Does it reflect The French euthanasia debate then, more broadly, the European atmosphere? Are attitudes toward euthanasia softened?

“Yes, the atmosphere has changed in a more permissive direction everywhere,” says the chief physician of the Cancer Center of Helsinki University Central Hospital and professor of palliative care. Tiina Saarto.

“I think this has to do with the fact that, in general, we are constantly moving in a more individualistic direction in social attitudes. Let’s think it’s about my death, my suffering, and my euthanasia. However, when it comes to euthanasia legislation, we are no longer just talking about individual choices, but a much bigger societal issue, ”he continues.

The blockade is part of a working group of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, which considers the need for legislation in end-of-life care for both hospice and euthanasia.

Both the World Medical Association and the Finnish Medical Association have opposed allowing euthanasia. According to Saarro, the difference in attitudes between doctors and lay people is explained by the fact that health care professionals are much more concerned with death than the rest of us.

“The elderly are hidden in nursing homes and die in hospitals. It is a very foreign and scary world for ordinary people. Here is a bit of an idea that by allowing euthanasia, the problems related to the end of life have been treated, ”explains Saarto.

“The desire for euthanasia stems from fear. The farther away one is from death, the more frightening it is. People who work with dying people see that death is not so scary. It’s not even beautiful, but the fears are bigger than they should be, the professor continues.

The blockade opposes allowing euthanasia. According to him, this is not a belief, but a fear that such a great social change is being made that it will ultimately be impossible to control.

“Constantly after that, we have to think about who is allowed euthanasia, new groups are coming to it. In the end, it is no longer a matter of allowing euthanasia, but of who it is done to. ”

Professor would see a clear alternative to the European euthanasia debate. Instead of allowing death aid, there should be a discussion on how to improve care for the elderly, palliative care and convalescent care.

“The World Health Organization warned as early as twenty years ago that if we do not invest in the elderly and palliative care now, we will be in big trouble. And now we are, ”says Saarto.

“If we had gone in the order things should have been done and listened to the WHO, we would not have so much fear and hence the need to support the legalization of euthanasia. This stems from poor care and the fears that people have. ”

Sure, things could still be fixed on the old continent, but that won’t happen quickly. According to Saarro, it would be done for 5-10 years, even if it started immediately.

“After that, we could assess what we were able to do with these means, after which it would be time for an extensive discussion on the social impact of the decisions. However, its timing is now no better in Europe than anywhere else, ”to the extent that the returnee has care for the elderly and hospice care.

Euthanasia is prohibited in Finland.

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