End of Life Law: National Assembly vote at the 2nd reading

The End of Life Bill which was submitted by MP’s Jean Leonetti and Alain Claeys, was adopted by the National Assembly at the 2nd reading Tuesday, October 6th.

Being that no political groups had requested a public ballot (by which one could specifically know who is in favor, against or abstains), the vote was conducted by a show of hands in the sparsely filled Palais Bourbon.

394 amendments were stabled for discussion in public sessions.

Almost all were refused by the rapporteurs Claeys and Leonetti as well as by the Government represented by Marisol Touraine. The few amendments that were accepted only introduced slight modifications on two points:

  • The first one concerns, in article 8, the writing of the advanced directives, with a more flexible wording which specifies that the model provided may not necessarily be “unique”.
  • The second one concerns, in article 9, the person of confidence: on the one hand, it will henceforth be possible to designate a second person of confidence, “a substitute” (in the case where the named person is unable to express the patient’s will); and on the other hand, the naming document in writing must be co-signed by the designated person.

Alliance VITA supports the call to action for « Relieve Suffering without Killing” in which the association participates, and which sounds the alarm on the ambiguities of this text notably on the principle of “profound and continuous sedation until death” presented as a solution to “dying badly” in France.

Two days before the law was to be examined at the National Assembly the delegations of the movement rallied (see video and photos) in front of the 13 regional prefectures in France on Saturday October 3rd, to call for urgent implementation of a development plan for palliative care, which has been at a standstill since 2012.

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