This year marks the 25th anniversary of the French ADMD. Founded in April 1980 by Michel Landa, the ADMD held its first General Assembly on 2nd June that year. Just one journalist, Michel Honorin, dared to broadcast a programme on the organisation. The first international congress in Nice, in 1984, was a major media event.
Over the years several draft laws have been presented but none has been adopted. However, little by little, there has been progress, notably the charter for hospital patients and then the law on the rights of the sick of 4 March 2002. Measures against pain and the refusal of excessive medical perseverance have been accepted.
ADMD calls on its members to make maximum use of what has been adopted in the most recent “Leonetti” law: refusal of undue medical treatment, measures to relieve pain even if these hasten death, recognition of the previously stated wishes of the patient and of the views of a nominated person.
In future ADMD will be working to obtain acceptance of active help to the dying in response to a lucid and repeated demand from the patient.
Source: Newsletter RtD-Europe, September 2005.