France: A New Law on the End of Life

Source: FSSPX News

The 71 deputies of the special commission responsible for examining the amendments to the text concerning the law on the end of life now have to deal with no less than 1,900 propositions for modifications that were submitted on May 7, 2024 by the elected officials of the Palais Bourbon.

On May 13, they will begin to be examined in order to achieve a first re-writing of the text which will be the first version of the project. It is scheduled to be presented in the Hemicycle at the end of the month. 

Troublingly, opening euthanasia to minors under the age of 18 is now mentioned in certain amendments. 

There is distrust on the part of caregivers, the majority of whom are opposed to a law on assisted dying. Recently, the Association for the Right to Die with Dignity (ADMD) “leaked” an internal letter ensuring that the current project was only a step before future enlargements. This will surprise no one: abortion was first decriminalized in 1976, before being enshrined in the Constitution today.

In this context, a few “crumbs” will be given to cautious deputies, such as the removal of the possibility for a loved one to administer the lethal potion. “I recognize that it is probably very difficult for loved ones to carry out this act. It’s a heavy psychological weight to bear,” recognizes Catherine Vautrin, the Minister of Health in charge of the matter.

Other deputies, in order to anesthetize the fierce opposition of health professionals, propose limiting the cooperation of caregivers by establishing a “collective conscience clause” in order to exclude entire establishments from participating in euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Geneviève Darrieussecq (MoDem) and Anne Vidal (Renaissance) propose exploring the possibility of volunteer caregivers agreeing to practice euthanasia, in order to pose an alternative to the question of the conscience clause that is considered too divisive.