France: doctors open to euthanasia in 'extreme cases'

Yes to 'terminal sedation', it is a 'duty to humanity'

14 February, 12:13

France: doctors open to euthanasia in 'extreme cases' France: doctors open to euthanasia in 'extreme cases'

(ANSAmed) - PARIS - The French National Council (FNC) for doctors has given the go-ahead for the first time to euthanasia, albeit without referring to it as such, but speaking of "terminal sedation" and a "duty to humanity." "In the case of repeated and lucid requests to die from terminally ill patients who are in palliative care, a legitimate medical decision must be taken with regard to these exceptional clinical situations. This is provided, however, that they have been identified not by a single doctor but by a medical panel", a text from the FNC for doctors called "End of Life, Assistance to Die," reads. Since 2005 France's Leonetti law has protected against "aggressive medical treatment". However, euthanasia remains illegal.

According to French doctors, the law is applicable for most "end of life cases". But, it doesn't extend to certain cases of prolonged agony or psychological and/or physical pain, which despite medicinal intervention remain uncontrollable. "These situations are rare, but they can't go unanswered.

They are exceptional, and not covered by the current law," the text said.

"A strong, terminal method of sedation practiced in respect to human dignity and administered by a panel of doctors, could be considered".(ANSAmed).

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