Final vote confirms: French citizens’ convention supports euthanasia


Western Europe

French President Emmanuel Macron poses with the document on the end-of-life options after a panel of citizens worked on the issue in recent months. Photo EPA, Aurelien Morissard

The French citizens’ convention has voted definitively in favour of legalising self-determined death. The final vote confirms that 76 per cent is in favour of active assistance in dying.

On Sunday, the French citizens’ council voted on the issue of self-determined death for the last time. They submitted their final report on Sunday. Now it seems the outcome is almost the same as the voting round from about a week earlier. However, then, the vote needed to be redone due to a technical error, as reported earlier.

A great majority of the participants (92 per cent) deems significant changes to the current end-of-life legislation necessary, Valeurs Actuelles reports. They propose that self-determined death should be possible for people with an incurable disease or suffering that cannot be treated. In addition, the citizen's council finds it important that the person in question makes the request himself to a medical expert. This request should include an evaluation, the council continues. In addition, there must be a collegial and multidisciplinary procedure to decide about the request, the report reads.

The new voting round also confirmed again that there are serious worries about the current state of palliative care in France, writes. The 173-page report includes several recommendations to improve the current health system, especially the palliative care system. According to the council participants, the current system is not “adapted to the different situations encountered by 82 per cent of the citizens.” In addition, they complain about the “inequality of access to end-of-life support” and the severe shortage of staff in this field of care.

At the same time, the representatives of the citizen’s council could not present a view on euthanasia for minors or for people who are no longer able to express their will. They were too divided on these issues.

They did agree on the importance of a conscience clause so that healthcare workers can refuse to cooperate with euthanasia for conscientious reasons.

The party of President Macron has announced that it will deal with the end-of-life issue during a meeting of the National Council on April 15.



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