The French deputies will examine this Thursday a new bill to legalize euthanasia, but the conservative caucus plans to torpedo the vote with a battery of amendments that would make it impossible to pass it on time.
If this bill is ratified, France would become the fifth country in the European Union to decriminalize euthanasia, after the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and Spain.
For the deputy Olivier Falorni, promoter of the text, authorizing euthanasia would make it possible to end the “hypocrisy” of letting the French “go into exile” in Belgium or Switzerland to resort to it, or turn a blind eye to the “2,000 to 4,000 »Clandestine euthanasia procedures to be carried out each year in France.
Its bill establishes that “any capable person, of legal age, in advanced or terminal stage of a serious and incurable disease, whatever its cause, that causes physical or psychological suffering that cannot be alleviated or that it considers unbearable” You may request “medical assistance” to die “with active help.”
The text aims to give a new response to the painful and delicate debate on the end of life and euthanasia, five years after the Claeys-Leonetti law, which authorized deep and continuous sedation of terminal patients, but closed the door to euthanasia active.
For the sociologist Philippe Bataille, defender of euthanasia, the French “have been demanding for 20 or 25 years the majority of a law on this issue (…) but Parliament remains deaf”.
According to a 2019 poll, 96% of the French are in favor of the law authorizing the medical corps to end, without suffering, the lives of terminally ill patients.
The debate on euthanasia has been present for more than four decades in the French political landscape. But the issue, although it has a certain consensus, shows different positions depending on the political party.
The bill enjoys broad support from communist, socialist and radical left deputies. On the bench of the government party (LREM, centrist) of Emmanuel Macron, many deputies have already announced their support for the text, despite the fact that it does not have the endorsement of the executive.
Macron, whose term ends in one year, did not make any commitment in this regard during his election campaign in 2017. He limited himself to asking that “the Claeys-Leonetti law be fully implemented first.” However, he added: “I would like to choose my end of life.”
Opponents of the proposal believe it is premature to consider going further when the “Claeys-Leonetti” law does not yet apply across the country. One fifth of French departments still do not have a hospice.
The deputies hostile to euthanasia have tabled 3,000 amendments in the face of the debate, which will slow down the procedures until making any vote practically impossible within the scheduled time, that is to say on Thursday at midnight.
Of the total, 2,300 amendments have been presented by deputies of the conservative party Los Republicanos.
Falorni, a former member of the French Socialist Party, told AFP that the amendments amounted to “obstruction.”
«We want to debate. We want to vote. The time for Parliament has come. Let’s respect it “, urged 270 deputies from all the benches, that is to say, the almost majority, in an opinion article published on Sunday in the Journal du Dimanche (JDD) against the” guerrilla war “that is going to be waged through the amendments.
Interviewed by AFP before the vote, Alain Cocq, a 58-year-old man who has suffered from an incurable and painful disease for 35 years, urged the deputies to adopt the right to euthanasia in France, without which he would be “forced” to “die in exile” in Switzerland.
In 2020, Cocq made the front page of all the newspapers when he tried to let himself die, stop eating and hydrating, and broadcasting his agony live on Facebook. «Doctors have saved me nine times in extremis. I regret it because it is not my life: it is a life imposed by the disease, “he said.
#France #returns #debate #law #legalize #euthanasia