April 8, 2024

After inserting abortion in France’s constitution, Macron tackles euthanasia

French president Emmanuel Macron has announced that he will back legislation to legalise “aid in dying” for terminally-ill adults. A report last year claimed that most French citizens would support this. 

In an interview with French newspapers La Croix and Liberation, Macron said assisted dying would be restricted to adults suffering from an incurable illness, who are expected to die in the “short or middle-term”, and who are suffering “intractable” physical or psychological pain.

People with severe psychiatric conditions and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease will not be eligible.

People will be able to take the medication at home, at a nursing home, or at a healthcare facility, Macron said. If they are unable to take a lethal medication by themselves, they could be helped by a layman or a healthcare worker. 

According to Le MondeMacron abhors the word “euthanasia”, so the process will be called “aid in dying”, rather than euthanasia or medically assisted suicide. “It does not, strictly speaking, create a new right nor a freedom, but it traces a path which did not exist until now and which opens the possibility of requesting assistance in dying under certain strict conditions,” he said in the interview.

 Debate on the proposal will begin in May. 

The decision to push ahead with the end-of-life legislation comes immediately after the right to abortion was enshrined in the French constitution earlier this month.