Macron to present a bill allowing aid in dying

Macron explained that if the evaluation from the doctors is favorable, the prescription is valid for three months.

French President Emmanuel Macron will push forward a bill to allow patients, under “strict conditions,” to “request assistance in dying,” as announced in an interview with the Parisian newspapers Liberation and Le Croix on Sunday.

Macron explained that if the evaluation from the doctors is favorable, the prescription is valid for three months, during which the patient can choose to withdraw at any time.

Minors and patients with psychiatric or neurodegenerative illnesses affecting discernment, such as Alzheimer’s, are excluded.

In the case of a favorable collective opinion from the medical team, a lethal substance will be prescribed, which the person can self-administer or with the assistance of a third party if they “lack control” to do so.

Macron emphasized the fraternity aspect of the law, enabling the choice of the lesser evil when death is imminent. The third party could be a “voluntary person designated when no technical limitation prevents it” or “the accompanying doctor or nurse.”

In the event of an unfavorable opinion, the patient can seek another medical team.

While this act may be likened to a form of assisted suicide, Macron expressed a desire to avoid the terms “suicide” or “euthanasia” because the patient’s “consent” is essential, and the medical decision has a role to play.

Macron’s party, Renaissance, and its allies hold a relative majority in the Lower House and will need support from the left or right to pass the legislation, far from being guaranteed.

The French president acknowledged being moved by a letter from 80-year-old terminal cancer patient Fran├žoise Hardy, stating, “I have received numerous letters, including one from Fran├žoise Hardy, which moved me a lot. Artists and ordinary people are committed to this issue.”

France currently has a 2016 law allowing “dying” patients to stop medication and receive palliative care, but no further.

According to polls, 70% of the French population supports a law legalizing euthanasia, a term Macron, the son of doctors, avoids publicly pronouncing.

Medically assisted suicide involves the citizen applicant executing the necessary actions for their own death, with the doctor providing guidance and direction without directly causing the death, distinguishing it from euthanasia.

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