Will France legalise active euthanasia?
The French National Assembly is today examining a bill that would give terminally ill people the right to have their lives ended by a doctor. The prerequisite: the patient's physical or mental suffering must be assessed as unbearable. Until now, only palliative care with painkillers and sedatives - which in high doses have an almost narcotic effect - has been legal.
Long overdue and widely supported
This debate is important, Le Monde insists:
“It is true that the pandemic and its daily victims are making the question of death more present and sensitive than in normal times. But the tragedies associated with Covid-19 do not make this discussion - which has been called for by a large number of elected representatives of all stripes - any less necessary. At a time when the executive is using the institutions in ways that dangerously marginalise parliament, it would be paradoxical to silence this debate given that, according to several surveys, a large majority of French people, including practicing Catholics, want a change in the legislation.”
We are talking about killing here
Three medical professionals argue in Le Figaro that the existing legislation must be maintained:
“These laws respect the fragile balance that is the basis of all medical ethics worthy of the name: to alleviate the patient's pain as much as possible when he cannot be cured, but never to kill him. Kill him? Yes, that's what we're talking about today. Behind the cosmetic vocabulary that aims to numb the mind lies the reality of the violence of the act itself.”