Following the conclusions of the Citizens’ Convention, the French President has just announced a bill on the subject of the end of life by the end of the summer.
Although Alliance VITA supports the announcement of the establishment of a ten-year plan for the funding of pain relief and the generalization of palliative care, how can one consider at the same time opening the door to assisted suicide and euthanasia? It would be a renouncement of the original path based on solidarity, which accepts neither therapeutic obstinacy nor euthanasia: the path of wisdom which France had chosen as its model. In the current economic, social and sanitary context, and whereas the Citizens’ Convention participants themselves pointed out the “alarming situation due to the lack of human and financial means” for the health system, the legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia would not only be a sign of the abandonment of patients as well as being the worst possible response: for carers, a majority of whom have stated that “to kill is not a way of caring” as well as for the vulnerable who have a particular need to be protected, accompanied and relieved.
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?): “The bill announced by the President is as pointless as it is dangerous. Nobody can be unaware of the derivatives inherent in the lifting of the prohibition of killing. The experience in foreign states has shown that the promise of limiting through strict criteria is inevitably gradually side-stepped by an ever-extending practice. Pushing through assisted suicide and euthanasia whilst our society is in deep turmoil, with a health system in severe crisis, is in our view quite irresponsible.”
Alliance VITA will be mobilized in the streets as early as tomorrow with other partners from the “Soulager mais pas tuer” (Relief without killing) collective, demonstrating for solidarity with the most vulnerable and opposing assisted suicide and euthanasia.