French End-of-Life bill postponed till December


Western Europe

The end-of-life issue is very sensitive in France. Demonstrators hold a banner reading "end of life care, not planned death" during a March for Life. Photo AFP, Julien de Rosa

At the end of summer, the French proposal on euthanasia should have been ready. Now, Minister Delegate Agnès Firmin Le Bodo has announced that it will not be presented before December.

The bill is surrounded by legal, political and societal difficulties, La Croix reports. That would explain why it takes the coalition longer than expected to present a bill. They seem to abide by the principle that it is urgent not to rush this bill through too fast.

French President Macron already has a pre-draft of the bill prepared by Agnès Firmin Le Bodo. He received this after the work of the Citizens’ Convention. However, the final text of the bill can only be presented to the Council of Ministers in December.


According to La Croix, Macron is very careful when it comes to the matter of the end of life, which strongly divides French society and politics. He may be cautious because he needs to secure “the text from a legal point of view to be sure that the right of access to assisted dying will be guaranteed and effective.”

That is very necessary for him, as there are several political parties, but also main religious groups opposed to euthanasia. And to manoeuvre between all these positions, the way to legalisation of assisted dying is narrow, La Croix writes.

The Catholic news website expects that the bill will legalise assisted suicide with a possibility for euthanasia for those who cannot kill themselves.

In any case, the pre-draft will be presented to the Council of State before it is presented to the Council of Ministers. That last step is supposed to be finished before Christmas.



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