France: Euthanasia Could Resurface in the Sphere of Political Debate

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French government spokesman Gabriel Attal confirmed the possibility of a popular referendum on euthanasia.

France – Paris (11/09/2021 5:00, Gaudium Press) A few months before the presidential election, Gabriel Attal, spokesperson of the current government confirmed rumours that euthanasia could resurface in the sphere of French political debate.

According to Gabriel Attal, assisted reproduction (PMA – Procréation Médicale Assitée, in French) and euthanasia are critical social issues to be discussed. “Everyone wants a more dignified end to life,” he pointed out.

Gabriel favours euthanasia in cases of incurable diseases, but does not rule out the posibilities of other valid scenarios. He explained that this is where the idea of consulting the French people, fits in. He also remarked that any decision on this issue needs their validation  namely within the framework of the upcoming presidential election.

Legalizing euthanasia around the world

In France, “active” euthanasia is illegal. Nevertheless, the 2016 Claeys-Leonetti law allows the absence of treatment and the use of continuous sedation until death for patients with terminal illnesses.

Assisted suicide is currently authorized in 7 countries worldwide: the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain, New Zealand, Colombia, and Canada. Euthanasia, however, is a frequent topic of ethical and political debate and is on the agenda of many other governments. 

In its 2020 letter Samaritanus Bonus, the Church reaffirmed its position on euthanasia: “the Church is convinced of the necessity to reaffirm as definitive teaching that euthanasia is a crime against human life because, in this act, one chooses directly to cause the death of another innocent human being.” (FM)

With information from Le Monde

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