The media have widely broadcast the viewpoints of a woman with a degenerative disease requesting euthanasia, whereas another woman has requested that viewpoints on this sensitive subject be treated in an equal manner.
Anne Bert, a 59-year old woman who has been suffering with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as “Charcot’s disease*” for the past 2 years, has recently made the top headlines in French media.
She is the author of “The Very Last Summer” scheduled to be published on October 4th, following her euthanasia in Belgium.
It is in this context that Axelle Huber asked France Inter radio station last week if they would accept to air her testimony, refusing to hear only one side of the story. Her husband, Leonard, died of Charcot’s disease four years ago. Her message was relayed on social networks: “Thank you for supporting me, so a different viewpoint on euthanasia can be voiced. And to help me to be heard by journalist Léa Salamé Page : does France Inter Radio have the courage to invite me with journalist Nicolas Demorand to give my testimony, for listeners to hear a different viewpoint on euthanasia than that of Anne Bert? (…) My husband Léonard died of Charcot’s disease in 2013. He had just turned 41. ”
In 2016 Axelle Huber published a book entitled “If I Can not Walk, I’ll Run” which relates her four-year struggle against her husband’s illness. Its approach is part of a desire to have a democratic debate on the subject so that all viewpoints may be expressed. Mobilizing for this disease is important to improve these patients’ situation. Some of the challenges are to increase awareness of this disease: to enlist support from public authorities and associations; to give patients, their families and their caregivers some moral support; as well as making every effort to ensure that the physical, moral and spiritual suffering of these patients is taken into account throughout France.