On October 15, 2019, police carried out approximately a hundred raids for illegal possession of Pentobarbital, seizing 130 bottles of this very strong barbiturate, which is banned in France.
The central office in the fight against environmental and public health attacks (“OCLAESP”) and the Central Criminal Intelligence Service (“SCRC”) issued a warning, which led the prosecutor’s office in Paris to open an investigation on July 26, 2019. The case was entrusted to the Directorate General of the National Gendarmerie (“DGGN”) on the grounds of “smuggling goods which are dangerous to public health”, “illegally practicing the profession of pharmacist” and ” advertising products or manners of killing oneself “.
Pentobarbital, marketed under the name of Nembutal, was passed through French customs and was declared as being a cosmetic product such as perfume for its consumers in France.
Several members of the Ultimate Freedom association, in favor of euthanasia, illegally owned the products. According to AFP, this association claims to have 2,700 members. “Members often have a high social-cultural level, have never suffered during their life, and do not want to yield or surrender to anyone whomsoever at death,” said AFP President Claude Hury. Another member, 85-year-old Christian Meriot, defines himself as “a libertarian, a free-thinker”.
In France, pentobarbital has been banned for medical use in humans since 1996. One may recall that it was used by Chantal Sébire.