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Emmanuel Macron (CNS photo/Lola Gomez)

The head of the French bishops’ conference has denounced proposals for a new end-of-life law that would allow assisted suicide under strict conditions as “deceitful”. Source: The Tablet.

President Emmanuel Macron unveiled his plans last week, telling the dailies La Croix and Libération that only adults with full mental control and an incurable and painful illness will be able to “ask to be helped to die”.

Medical personnel would need to be consulted to ensure the patient qualifies for such help. Minors and adults suffering psychiatric or degenerative illnesses such as Alzheimer’s would not be eligible.

“With this bill, we are facing up to death,” Mr Macron said.

If it wins parliamentary approval, the bill could make France the next European country to legalise some form of euthanasia for the terminally ill, after Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Switzerland, which have permitted it for a decade or more, and Spain, which passed a law in 2021.

The president avoided the terms assisted suicide or euthanasia, insisting his solution, which he called a “law of fraternity”, used more “precise criteria” than other countries’.

Archbishop Éric de Moulins-Beaufort of Reims disagreed, saying: “Calling a text that opens the door to both assisted suicide and euthanasia a ‘law of fraternity’ is deceitful [since it] will shift our entire healthcare system towards death as a solution,” he said.

The distinction between assisted suicide and “aid to die” that Macron made is “rhetoric”, he added.

Archbishop Moulins-Beaufort called for more palliative care provision, saying it has been an available alternative since 1999 was not funded enough to become widely available.


Church condemns Macron’s ‘deceitful’ end-of-life bill (By Tom Heneghan, The Tablet)