Setback for euthanasia

Source: FSSPX News


The advocates of euthanasia were deprived of the victory they were expecting on 16th June last year in the context of the bill put forward by two socialist deputies M. Michel and M. Sallangre. The proposed bill totally liberalized euthanasia and at the same time authorized assisted suicide. For his part, the health minister, M. Kouchner, was preparing his strategy in the event of the bill being rejected by reason of its excesses. The defeat of the left in the presidential elections brought about a new deal. However, the advocates of euthanasia launched an unprecedented offensive in January, especially via the French media. TV programs on the subject – broadcast by various TV channels – followed one another at an infernal pace hitherto unheard of (up to four in one week on four different channels); to say nothing of the more or less phony opinion polls. This could not be due to mere chance. They were fueled by the famous letter sent in a very respectful manner to the President of France by a young volunteer fireman named Vincent Humbert, a tetraplegic, having lost his sight almost completely and also his body movement with the exception of one thumb and one forearm. This kind of case is very rare, but not unknown in the institution as far as a request for euthanasia is concerned. This affair which took place in Berck in a hospital department which we know, certainly embarrassed the head of State. His answer was categorical: "I cannot grant you what you request, for the President of the Republic does not have this right." (letter of 17th December to Vincent). He then wriggled out of it cleverly by inviting the young man’s mother to dinner at the Elysée. The president’s wife rescued him from this delicate situation by proposing to give Vincent a change of environment. However they forgot to mention that this young man had been maintained in a coma for nine months – probably at the request of his family – all the while knowing that beyond two months the return to consciousness normally implies major neurological after-effects. On the other hand, both the president and the health minister M. Mattei, each on their own initiative, made very strong statements against the legislation of so-called "active" euthanasia. "As far as I am concerned, this is not the role of the physician. His role is to defend life", stated Jacques Chirac.

Besides, in face of this drama, young Vincent received hundreds of letters of encouragement to resist the sirens of the death merchants. Lastly, the Association for a dignified death, which tries to impose euthanasia into our legislation, had the unfortunate idea of supporting publicly and defending Christine Malèvre, through the voice of its president. Now, the nurse of Mantes-la-Jolie has been found guilty of six murders (premeditated murder), condemned to 10 years’ imprisonment with no possibility of remission, and in addition is banned for life from practicing as a nurse. When this association realized its error, it declared that this trial could in no way be that of the right to euthanasia. Nevertheless, in the mind of many, the Malèvre affair reveals to what extent euthanasia is the thin end of the wedge. But let us not delude ourselves. The forces of death do not stop. Hence we must expect new attacks by the artisans of the death culture, who never give up. Otherwise, we note the excellent work done by those responsible for palliative care, who fight tooth and nail against euthanasia. It is perfectly fair that those who fight for life equate the Malèvre affair with euthanasia: "see where that leads us"…

Emotion and lessons of courage

Most of the letters of support sent to the Héliot-Marins Hospital in Berck, to the young Vincent – tetraplegic as a result of an accident on the street – who was requesting from President Chirac the authorization for euthanasia, were poignant letters of encouragement to "hold on", to resist the temptation of death. "I will pray that courage does not desert you…" "I would like you to get a taste for life again…". "My husband was suffering from tetraplegia. But he was there. You are your mother’s reason for living…" Many letters, all as moving as each other. These messages of hope, all so touching, showed Vincent Humbert that he was no longer alone. Such is "la France du bas", the voice of France as she really is, as opposed to the France that the media would have us believe.

Dr. J.P. Dickès

President of ACIM