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France: Bill on aid in dying introduced

The long-awaited bill supported by President Emmanuel Macron was introduced by Minister Catherine Vautrin and is to be debated in the National Assembly on May 27th.

The proposed bill would be for French citizens above the age of 18, for whom an incurable illness and unbearable pain have been confirmed by medical specialists. Patients may ask for a lethal substance to be administered and must be capable of asking for it – thus excluding those suffering from psychiatric conditions of neurodegenerative diseases.

Significant opposition to the proposed bill is expected from palliative care professionals, as many as 80% of which indicated they would not provide access to assistance in dying in a recent study. Catholic and Muslim religious orders are also expected to be opposed, as well as those in concerned that patients might seek assisted dying due to poor palliative care.

Read more: ‘Aid in dying’: What’s in the new French bill on assisted suicide (