The parliamentary mission to evaluate the 2016 law on the end of life has just released its conclusions. Just like the members of parliament, the association deplores the lack of data and is asking for the elaboration of an exhaustive situation report on the way people are dying in France. On the other hand, nothing in this report can justify a change in the law to authorise active assistance in dying.
According to Tugdual Derville, the spokesman for Alliance VITA and author of “Docteur, ai-je le droit de vivre encore un peu ?” (Doctor, Am I Entitled to Live a Little Longer?) (Salvator, 2023): “This report confirms that there is no medical or ethical reason to go beyond the Claeys-Leonetti law. It shows incidentally that deep and continuous sedation till death remains an exceptional procedure which only has any meaning as a last resort. Whence the priority for reversible sedation, so long as it is effective. This “proportional” sedation is a means of preserving the freedom of expression of the patient and his/her ability to communicate. The high authority for health (HAS) in 2018 issued recommendations of good practice which specify the criteria for deep and continuous sedation until death. The HAS clearly distinguishes it from euthanasia since it excludes any intention of administering death. Any recommendation which challenges such a distinction would jeopardise the trust which exists between carers and patients by introducing the suspicion of sedation: this is the tendency observed in Belgium where the lethal intention of some sedations has developed under considerable confusion, at the expense of palliative care.”