April 14. 2024. 6:42

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Macron wants end-of-life bill ready by summer’s end

President Emmanuel Macron wants a bill on the end of life that improves palliative care to be ready by the end of the summer after a proposal from citizens that assisted dying should be allowed.

In September of last year, a group of 184 randomly selected citizens were appointed to reflect on the question: “Is the framework for accompanying the end of life adapted to the different situations encountered or should possible changes be introduced?”

After the “citizen’s convention” presented its conclusions on the matter to Macron on Monday, the president told a press conference that a future bill will be drafted “in connection with the parliamentarians” and with “all the stakeholders and on the basis of the conclusions”.

The two red lines that cannot be crossed when the text is debated include: “the importance of taking into account and analysing the discernment” and “the issue of reiteration of choice”, he added.

After looking into the matter and hearing experts like doctors, philosophers, caregivers and religious representatives since October, the randomly selected citizens ended their debates on Sunday and published a report the following day.

According to 97% of them, the current “support framework” in France should “evolve”, citing “inequality of access to end-of-life support” as the first reason and “the lack of satisfactory responses in the current framework for certain end-of-life situations” as the second.

The end-of-life bill will be accompanied by a “national ten-year plan for pain management and palliative care,” the president also announced.

“The state has an obligation of result” to ensure “effective and universal access to end-of-life care,” he added.

“I hope that this citizens’ convention will move the lines, both on the issue of the end of life, but also on that of citizen participation,” one of the randomly selected citizens told Franceinfo just after the president’s announcements.

(Clara Bauer-Babef | EURACTIV.fr)