(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.