The participants in the citizens’ convention on the end of life spoke out on Sunday, February 19, mainly in favor of a change in the law for a “active assistance in dying”, in a vote at the Economic, Social and Environmental Council (CESE). After nearly three months of debate, 84% of them felt that the “End of life support framework” did not answer “to the different situations encountered”in a multi-stage vote on “the guidelines for responding to the Prime Minister’s question”.
At the question : “Should access to active assistance in dying be open? »75% voted ” Yes “19% voted ” No “, according to the results of the ballot broadcast live from the ESEC, where the citizens’ convention is meeting at the call of the government. Regarding the terms of access to this aid in dying, 72% were in favor of assisted suicide, 66% in favor of euthanasia.
The 184 participants, drawn by lot, therefore unsurprisingly voted in favor of a change in the current legislation, which Emmanuel Macron is considering. At the beginning of January, a first informal and unforeseen vote had shown a movement in this direction. Since 2016, the so-called Claeys-Leonetti law allows a “deep and continuous sedation” for some patients until their death, without making it possible to actively cause their death or to give them the means to do so.
“A turning point has been taken, it marks the end of the deliberation phase. There is still work and debates », said after the vote Claire Thoury, responsible for organizing the convention, which will report on its detailed work on March 19. Some questions remain unanswered, in particular that of the conscience of people at the end of life. On Sunday, the citizens, on the other hand, voted 56% for access to assisted suicide to also be open to minors.
“We can be collectively proud of what has just happened. Congratulations to all of you for restoring hope in this democratic context that is sometimes a little worrying.she continued before the assembly of citizens, promising that minority positions would be taken into account. “We have several debates in the National Assembly which reflect a not very glorious image, here you have 184 citizens who debate in a peaceful way”she argued at a press conference.
“We told the citizens that it is the politicians who will decide in the end, that it is not here that we decide, but that we enlighten public decision-making”explained the chair of the governance committee of the convention. “Disregard at all” guidelines of the agreement “would still be weird”commented M.me Thoury, while the government, which is conducting its own consultations in parallel, has warned that it will probably not take up the conclusions of the citizens as they stand.
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