CNA Newsroom, Feb 27, 2023 / 10:56 am
A citizens’ convention made up of randomly selected members of the French public voted Feb. 19 in favor of legalizing euthanasia and assisted suicide, including for minors, preparing the way for the drafting of new “end of life” legislation.
The 184-member council was convened by French President Emmanuel Macron to debate “end of life” issues after the government’s National Consultative Ethics Committee (CCNE) issued an opinion Sept. 13, 2022, favorable to legalizing assisted suicide.
For three months the convention debated the question, “Is the framework for end-of-life support adapted to the different situations encountered or should changes be introduced?” At the end of debate, 84% of the members of the citizens’ council agreed that the current legal framework does not respond to the “different situations encountered.” A full 66% of them felt that active assistance in dying in the form of euthanasia should be accessible, and 72% approved of assisted suicide.
In France, euthanasia refers to the administration of a lethal agent by medical personnel, while assisted suicide is the self-administration of a lethal substance with the prior consent of a physician.