French to introduce assisted suicide and euthanasia

The French government has announced that it will introduce legislation allowing assisted suicide and some forms of euthanasia. A report by the former head of the national bioethics commission, Didier Sicard, was given to President François Hollande this week. Legislation could be presented to the National Assembly as early as June.

“The existing legislation does not meet the legitimate concerns expressed by people who are gravely and incurably ill,” Hollande told the media this week.

Sicard professes to be a foe of legalised euthanasia. However, his three main proposals do involve ending life without consent. He says that death should be “accelerated” if patients ask for it or if they have made an advance directive. In a second scenario, doctors could withdraw nutrition and hydration at the request of relatives of an unconscious person. And third, doctors could withdraw nutrition and hydration from persons in a permanent vegetative state. 

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