French find halfway house for killing off the terminally ill

hands-in-prayer

Terminally ill patients could be sedated until they die under plans in France to end suffering in the last stages of their life.

The laws would give people the ‘right to deep, continuous sedation until death’ at patients’ request – and only when their condition is life-threatening in the short term.

The French parliament will debate a draft law on the highly sensitive issue from January, President Francois Hollande has revealed.

Although euthanasia is not permitted in France, laws were passed in 2005 that allows for ‘passive euthanasia’, where a person causes death by withdrawing or withholding treatment. 

Outlining how the new laws would go a step further, Hollande said current legislation was too focused on the doctor’s analysis and did not consider the patient’s wishes.

But he stopped short of recommending lethal injections and avoided the terms euthanasia and assisted suicide.

This what happens in New Zealand already to some degree, but the control lies with the doctors to “over medicate” the person so they slip away.

The problem is that this is rarely offered in an overt way.

Opinion polls show broad support for legalised euthanasia in late terminal cases. Hospital staff convicted of helping patients die in recent years have often been given suspended sentences in view of this approach.

The issue gained prominence after an elderly couple took their own lives in a luxury Paris hotel in 2013 leaving a note explaining that they had wanted to die with dignity.

‘These proposals are balanced and realistic. They aim to stop the suffering of those close to the end of their lives, respect their wishes and allows the right to die in dignity,’ Hollande said.

Death with Dignity is a big issue, and if you have ever sat through the grind of days and days of slow decline, and with it, the dignity erodes, the person you know slowly disappears, the basic bodily facts of life (and slow death) become the “highlights” of your day, then you sit there crying inside, and perhaps outside, that there has to be a different way that doesn’t involve the slow, agonising progress of decay.

The biggest shame of the last election was that Labour and in particular Maryan Street lacked the courage to continue with her members bill that would have legalised euthanasia.

We elect politicians to make the hard decisions and when faced with that challenge they cut and run, preferring to run dirty politics instead of something positive.

Maryan Street was booted from parliament as a result of labour’s appalling result, but the issue remains.

Having sat and watched my mother ebb away in pain and suffering despite her best efforts to tough it out this is something that I will campaign long and hard on…to give people the choice about how they die.

It is time, like the debate over medical cannabis and legalisation of cannabis in general, that we had these debates without the cowardice exhibited by Labour.

– Daily Mail


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