Demonstration Against the End-of-life Bill : Don’t Kill Fraternity!


Demonstration against the end-of-life bill : Don’t kill fraternity!

Whilst the French MPs are debating the end-of-life bill, Alliance VITA organised a series of demonstrations in Paris, Marseille, Nantes, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Nice and Dijon. Presented in the name of fraternity, the bill establishes the legalisation of assisted suicide and euthanasia, disguised under the sweetened term of “assistance in dying”.

By demonstrating in Paris and 6 major cities, the participants warned against the domino effect which would be generated by the end-of-life bill regarding:

  • suicide prevention which would be weakened by assisted suicide,
  • palliative care which would be diminished by the so-called “assistance in dying”,
  • advances in the fight against pain would be discouraged,
  • patient-carer trust would be ruined by the lifting of the prohibition against killing,
  • social peace would be disrupted by the conflicts inherent in the practice of assisted suicide and euthanasia,
  • the protection of the most vulnerable would be eroded by the encouragement of self-exclusion.

The legalisation of assisted suicide and euthanasia could destabilise them one after the other and finally undermine the very fraternity which the bill is claiming to promote.

Following a play-act, successive speakers expressed their opposition to an upheaval as drastic as the lifting of the prohibition against killing.

Tugdual Derville, the Alliance VITA spokesman reminded the government of its responsibility:

“Instead of undermining all these foundations of fraternity, the government would do better by reinforcing them, first of all by looking after our so fragile health system, the aged and dependent, and finally all those who have doubts, due to their solitude, their insecurity or their dependence, to the extent of wondering whether they still have a right to a place in society”.

Theo Boer, a professor of the ethics of health and member of the Dutch Health Council, gave a message as a stark warning: “The legalisation of euthanasia is not a solution. It sets in motion a dynamic which changes our entire society. Nobody should therefore be under any illusion that legalising euthanasia is a mere question of individual freedom: it sends a message according to which it is better for some people to cease their existence. The cynicism of that freedom must not be under-estimated.”

This demonstration was the first act of a protest which will continue for the entire duration of the debates, in defence of our society founded on a fraternity in support of life, and never promoting death.

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