France aims to legalise euthanasia despite ethics committee’s doubts

July 1, 2013

(An elderly woman who is terminally ill receives attention in a room at the senile dementia building at the Canevaro old people’s home in Lima March 25, 2010. REUTERS/Enrique Castro-Mendivil)

President Francois Hollande reaffirmed his aim to legalise voluntary euthanasia on Monday after a majority of France’s national ethics committee advised him not to let doctors help the terminally ill take their lives.

Hollande said France would hold a national debate on the issue in coming months and his government would submit a bill in parliament by year’s end that would go beyond the current law that bars doctors from providing assisted suicide.

Nearby Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Switzerland allow voluntary euthanasia in some form and Hollande included a pledge to legalise “medical assistance to end one’s life in dignity” among campaign promises for his election last year.

Another campaign pledge to allow same-sex marriage prompted several mass protests before it was voted into law in April.

Some of its opponents, who have been strongly supported by the Roman Catholic Church, have suggested launching a new wave of street protests against legalised euthanasia.

Asked about the ethics committee’s advice while visiting a hospital in the western port town of Lorient, Hollande said his government’s proposal “will complete and improve the (current) law which was already a step in the direction of human dignity”.

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In my opinion, the law should not be passed on euthanasia, because if we think the life is one of the fundamental rights. As this would not be a solution, would be a result of a person dead instead keeping suffering. Also, if this law is passed would increase the number of cases that have been made euthanasia. Even, there is no right to die. Besides, the doctor should not let his patient die because this breach of the right to health, is to be cared for and to receive due care.

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