In its report on its fact-finding mission on the end of life, the social affairs commission of the Senate has recorded its opposition to an opening on “active assistance in dying”. During their hearing on 22nd March, Tugdual Derville, the spokesman for Alliance VITA together with Doctor Paul Régnier-Vigouroux defended maintaining the prohibition of killing, which is the very founding basis of life in society.
According to the doctor, the removal of such a prohibition for those whose life expectancy is threatened in the medium term would lead to depriving such patients and their loved ones – everyone should have access to palliative care – a comforting accompaniment and a peaceful death.
Tugdual Derville, challenged the idea that certain categories of patients – due to their evolving illness – could be deprived of the prevention of suicide and denounced the indecency of promoting palliative care aimed at compensating the legalisation of assisted suicide or euthanasia. According to the Alliance VITA spokesman: “The Senate’s fact-finding mission wisely considered, “inappropriate and dangerous” any form of programmed death. As has been found abroad, the removal of the first safeguard leads to an endless legal and judiciary battle, fractures the health world, families and society as a whole, without satisfying anyone. Does France need all that?”
Fully aware that the refusal of euthanasia does not suffice, Alliance VITA is calling for:
- An in-depth investigation into the reality of “painful deaths” which continue to be put forward with no precise, serious or reliable data;
- A law on old age and autonomy which considers accelerated aging, relies on inter-generational options and battles against “social death” for many isolated aged people;
- Concrete implementation of a right for everyone, in case of need, to have access to high quality palliative care;
- Reinforcement of a policy for the prevention of suicide which in particular does not exclude our most vulnerable, dependent or aged fellow citizens.