In his letter dated December 6, 2017, the French Prime Minister requested that the State Council carry out a study on “the legal context prior to reexamining the bioethics law”.
Following the same procedure that was used to write the bioethics laws in 1994, 2004 and 2011, the French government wants the Council of State to take part and give their input during the collective reflection which will be held to identify legal issues prior to potential modifications in the existing bioethics laws.
Alliance VITA’s representatives Tugdual Derville, Caroline Roux and Blanche Streb insisted on the importance of bioethical guidelines which respect the life and dignity of society’s most vulnerable individuals. When questioned about the progress of the National Bioethical Consultations, they pointed out the strong citizen implication on the child’s right to have protective reference points, and they think it is inconceivable to ignore this conviction when the new bill is drafted.
Based on the experience of their listening services, SOS Baby and SOS End-of-Life, they pleaded in favor of a genuine evaluation of the previous laws and their impact on people’s life, instead of a head-long rush forward for more technological progress.
This applies in particular to the infertility issues (causes, prevention and real therapy). Another important issue is that of diagnosing and announcing a disability in an unprejudiced manner, to enable society to accept disabled individuals. The major risk of the next bioethics law which claims “ART for all” or surrogacy, would be to edge even closer to the globalized procreation marketplace, and this would call into question the principle of non-commodification of the human body. Alliance VITA called for an ethical conscience as an answer to eugenics, to researches which destroy human embryos, and to the modifications of the genome of embryos. The issue of the end-of-life was also discussed. Although Alliance VITA is still watchful for the risks of a euthanasia that does not tell its name, they endorsed the recent recommendations given by the High Health Authority which give guidelines for practicing sedation.
The Council of State’s report is scheduled to be released by the end of June 2018. Alliance VITA was previously heard by the National Ethics Consultation Committee on March 8th for the French National Bioethics Consultations, by the Academy of Medicine in January 2018 on the medical aspects of ART excluding ART for medically diagnosed infertility, by the Economic and Social Council in 2017 and by the Social Affairs Committee of the National Assembly on the End-of-life issue in April 2018.