[Press Release] French Senate Rejects Euthanasia Bill

Alliance VITA commends the Senate for rejecting the euthanasia bill tabled by the socialist party and calls for establishing a major national policy to assist those in pain and suffering.

As a member of the collective movement “Relieve Suffering without Killing” Alliance VITA commends the Senate’s rejection of the euthanasia bill tabled on March 11th, during a parliamentary timeslot reserved for the Socialist party. The association also welcomes the long-awaited announcement by the Health Minister to develop a national plan for palliative care. While the government has yet again deferred its Advanced Age and Autonomy Act, Alliance VITA is making a call so that assisting those who suffer, especially the isolated elderly people either at home or in “EPHADs” (nursing home establishments for aged and dependent individuals) be declared of national importance.

Tugdual Derville, a spokesman for Relieve Suffering without Killing, which is sponsored by tetraplegic Philippe Pozzo di Borgo, declares:

We are far from being the only ones to be shocked that euthanasia activists have chosen this particular time to make a new outbreak in Parliament. With no less than four texts tabled, this onslaught of legislative harassment is particularly scandalous while so many caregivers are fighting to save lives in such difficult conditions.

Although it has been a long time coming, the government’s announcement to develop a national plan for palliative care is commendable. The practice and rationality of palliative care must be extended throughout all our hospital services, so that the French no longer believe that one day they will have to choose between suffering or dying. It is high time that palliative care receives the serious attention it deserves for assisting those who are seriously ill, dependent and/or elderly. It is a shame that the Advanced Age and Autonomy Act has been repeatedly postponed. Too many of our elderly citizens experience a kind of social death, which leads to feelings of despondency, and this was made even worse by the pandemic.

Alliance VITA is also launching a new widespread solidarity campaign (“Always Together” to show the elderly that they have an important place in society. »

On March 10th the results of the IFOP survey  carried out at the request of “Relieve Suffering without Killing” was published. This poll reveals where the French place priority for the end of life: no euthanasia, but rather pain care, without unreasonable therapeutic obstinacy and to be accompanied until the end, especially by their loved ones.

Alliance VITA’s SOS End-of-Life Service was created in 2004 to provide support for questions related to serious illness, death and bereavement (www.sosfindevie.org)

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