“I want the agony to end“. This is the call that Alain Cocq launches to the deputies on the eve of a debate in the National Assembly on the adoption of a bill on the end of life.
Perplexed in pain due to an incurable disease diagnosed at the age of 23, this 58-year-old man, activist of the “dignified” end of life, has been in palliative care for 35 years. When he mentions his “agony“, it also evokes that of some”10,000 people in France“who could resort to euthanasia but who are prevented from doing so by”these doctors“arrogating the”right of life or death“.
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Assisted suicide rather than sedation
Because currently, the law in force known as Clayes-Leonetti adopted in 2016 does not authorize “deep and continuous sedation, up to death“only for people whose vital prognosis is engaged”short term“.
The bill to be debated on April 8 in the National Assembly provides that a person with an ailment “serious and incurable“inflicting” on himphysical or psychological suffering deemed unbearable and which cannot be alleviated“can dispose of assisted suicide.
“You have to be rich for (…) a dignified end of life”
Alain Cocq could then benefit from it, which is not the case with the law in force. He had already asked President Emmanuel Macron in August 2020 to authorize the medical profession to prescribe pentobarbital, a powerful barbiturate that would have allowed him to “leave in peace“.
Faced with the president’s refusal, he tried twice to let himself die, by going on strike for care and hunger, but he had to give up in the face of pain that he described as unbearable. Tired of war, Alain Cocq accepted the offer of an association – of which he was named – ready to finance the “8 to 10,000 euros“what costs an assisted suicide in Switzerland.
“My file is validated and I am waiting to be summoned“, he said, not hiding his disgust to find that he”you have to be rich to have the right to have a dignified end of life, in the land of human rights“.
A first text retested in the Senate
The issue of end of life had already been discussed in the Senate on March 11 in a proposal aimed at “establish the right to die with dignity“. But this text had been withdrawn from the agenda. The new proposal under discussion on April 8 at the Assembly aims to”give the right to a free and chosen end of life“.
But the Minister of Health Olivier Véran had ruled on March 11 that “the moment chosen to modify the legal regime of the end of life“was”not the right time“, since “we are (…) in the midst of the fight against the health crisis“of the covid.
But Alain Cocq asks the deputies not to forget “that they are there to apply the persistent will of the population“, and that the polls showing a majority of French people in favor of assisted suicide are”numerous“. The latest, a April 2019 Ipsos survey, estimates the share of favorable opinions at 96%.