End of life bill : A fool’s deal
Alliance VITA denounces the insidious remarks by the minister of state responsible for territorial organization and health professions regarding the content of the impending bill for the end of life.
Whilst promising “joint construction” between carers and parliamentarians, Agnès Firmin Le Bodo announced a bill which appears to be already settled, permitting euthanasia and assisted suicide for people whose life expectancy is threatened in the medium term. How can one not see this as an abandonment of those most in need of protection and accompaniment and what about the reality of the requests for euthanasia by those people concerned by such diseases? The General Inspection of Social Affairs (IGAS) as well as the evaluation mission on the Claeys Leonetti law, presided over by MP Falorni both highlighted the lack of information on the conditions under which people are dying in France.
In order to get carers to swallow the lethal pill of euthanasia and assisted suicide, they are being promised a conscience clause and the development of palliative care. The minister even goes so far as to propose a death on prescription service which could be administered by associations. This is a means of duping the carers who are de facto involved in the process. It is also in blatant contradiction with the prevention of suicide.
According to Tugdual Derville, the spokesman for Alliance VITA: “Whereas hospitals are facing an unprecedented crisis, the minister takes the liberty of announcing the broad lines of a future bill which she claims will be clearly controlled whereas we are completely unaware of the intention: the mere notion of life expectancy threatened in the medium term opens the door to all sorts of abuse inasmuch as studies all over the world have shown that it is impossible to predict death in the medium term with any degree of reliability. Moreover, everyone knows that it is in fact the carers who will be in the front line to perform euthanasia or assisted suicide. Also, one can but feel incensed that the details of the intended measures for the development of palliative care are to be deferred until December whereas they are the very argument being used by the government to justify the administration of death. Finally, by suggesting that France could opt for assisted suicide, the minister destroys the principle of the universality of the prevention of suicide, a drama against which the most vulnerable must be protected as a priority.“
The right of access to palliative care is already guaranteed by the 1999 law and that should be implemented as an absolute priority without any need for passing a new law.