Nine days: the time left for the citizens’ convention on the end of life to decline all the nuances in the opinion that it will give to the government on March 19. The document is intended to become the cornerstone of a reform of death support in France. Since there will be “presumably” a law, announced Olivier Véran, Thursday, February 23.
“There is obviously a spirit of openness”, noted the government spokesperson in view of the vote, Sunday, February 19, of the assembly of 183 citizens who voted 75% for the opening to the legal possibility of “active assistance in dying”. Clearly, for the legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia. However, behind a ” opening ” clear at first glance hide many doubts.
With the approach of the three three-day weekends that they will devote to the drafting of their final report, from March 3, the members of the Convention are far from having settled their dilemmas on the conditions in which the legal framework of the end of life should evolve. Some even say “more fluctuating than ever”.
They interviewed 60 experts, will eventually have debated twenty-seven days over nine weekends, spent at the Economic, Social and Environmental Council (CESE), responsible for organizing the convention. A WhatsApp loop continues to bring together a good hundred of them. Some keep a logbook. All evoke an experience ” unique “, ” Magic “ which led them to “ get involved »To “to listen to” without getting angry. But they still have, they say, to untie “knots”.
“An assumed bias »
Of 167 voters on February 19, 72% voted for opening up access to assisted suicide and 66% for euthanasia. “Even if it is dishonest to ask us to comment on the limits of the Claeys-Leonetti law of 2016 since it is not fully applied, observes Dominique F., a member of the Convention, this is no reason not to recognize that it does not respond to all end-of-life situations. » A majority position that does not prevent minorities from expressing themselves. “I do not deny that there are cases of refractory suffering [qu’aucun traitement ne permet de soulager], says Soline C. I know medicine can’t do everything. But openness to active assistance in dying is unmanageablesays this conventional, because we will never have the guarantees of the enlightened nature of the decision of the person who asks for it. »
If they refuse to be openly critical “for fear of harming the legitimacy of the work undertaken”several members of the Convention regret not having been able “deepen, detail more extensively the proposals of the convention before voting”, on February 19, on the eleven questions concerning “active assistance in dying”. Some go so far as to question the possibility of having organized these votes since the work of the convention on “the safeguards” of the implementation of euthanasia or assisted suicide are not completed nor validated by ” the citizens “.
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