On the agenda of the Angers Criminal Court, Monday, May 2, was listed a small case of “forgery and use of forgery”. Beneath the seemingly innocuous appellation lurked the highly delicate subject of assisted suicide.
A veterinarian was prosecuted for having falsified prescriptions to help one of his acquaintances, suffering from Charcot’s disease, to obtain the cocktail of drugs that would allow him to kill himself. The court acquitted the defendant. Thursday, May 5, the public prosecutor of Angers, Eric Bouillard, appealed against this judgment which, in a few days, emerged from the relative confidentiality in which it had been rendered.
The affair begins in the spring of 2018 with a meeting at the café between the veterinarian and the patient, who introduces himself to him as a painter and a philosopher. The two men sympathize, see each other regularly, discuss ethics and end of life. During the winter, MG’s state of health deteriorates and he, who maintains conflicting relations with the doctors, confides to his new friend his desire to end his life. At the end of the summer of 2018, however, MG saw hope. In Canada, clinical trials highlight the positive effects of a molecule called pizomid on patients suffering from this neurodegenerative disease. The veterinarian inquires and finds that the molecule is available in France under other names. He writes a first forgery in order to obtain a prescription for MG. The improvement is noticeable but short-lived.
The patient, who can no longer leave his home, reiterates in front of his relatives his desire to die without waiting for the inevitable downfall that awaits him. He urges his friend to help him. He refuses, then ends up accepting. He writes a second prescription, in the name of the owner of an imaginary animal, so that MG obtains lethal substances.
“Mostly let me go this time!” ! »
In March 2019, a first attempt failed. The veterinarian renews the prescription. Two months later, MG’s lifeless body was discovered at his home. Next to his bed, a will and a handwritten note: “Mostly let me go this time!” ! »
The autopsy reveals that he ingested two medicinal substances, an anxiolytic and pentobarbital, a barbiturate for veterinary use for general anesthesia or euthanasia. The veterinarian, whose contact details appear in the telephone directory of the deceased patient, is quickly identified. Placed in custody, he immediately recognizes the facts. He wanted, he said, to give his friend the means and the freedom to “choose your moment” when he was still fully aware of acting.
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