At May 24, the French RTD Society ‘Le Choix’ sent a letter to Prime Minister Jean CASTEX.
Here is the English translation:
Mr. Prime Minister,
On May 17, 2021, 296 deputies belonging to political parties going from right to left, asked you to accept that the parliament can continue to debate on the other articles of the bill n ° 288 presented by the deputy Olivier Falorni . The first article opening the right to medical aid in dying for patients suffering from serious and incurable diseases, suffering from inappeasable pain was voted by a large majority of deputies present (240 for, 48 against).
A tiny minority confiscated the continuation of the democratic vote by tabling nearly 4,000 amendments. That such a bill provokes a real confrontation between supporters and opponents is proof of democratic life. Previous laws on this subject, voted unanimously because they were too vague or too ambiguous, did not meet the expectations of either citizens or caregivers. In the past, no real societal law has been passed without heated parliamentary debate and it is the honor of democracy to accept the confrontation of ideas.
The 296 parliamentarians who wrote to you, these men and women who are our elected officials, our representatives, are calling for the possibility of continuing their work. Don’t disappoint them, don’t disappoint us. Your response that this is not the time is not admissible. For forty years, this has never been the time to respond to the vast majority of citizens who demand a more humane law allowing everyone to choose their end of life.
You yourself, Mr. Prime Minister, one day you will inevitably be confronted with this existential question and that day which will you choose: the slow dehydration of your body that the current law advocates and the expectation of suffering from uncontrollable pain for hope for a “deep and continuous” sedation that will prolong your agony of unknown duration, often long and painful for you and your family? Or, will you wish you had the freedom to choose to leave quickly and peacefully? Perhaps then, like so many others, you will go abroad to seek the help that our country refuses us.
On this subject which transcends political parties, it is not democratic to prevent the elected representatives of the people from continuing their work. For us, this bill is not perfect, still too restrictive, subject to too many superfluous controls, but it is a compromise. So, let the elect deliberate in conscience, without the obligation to obey a higher order. A single man, he was President, cannot decide the fate of the company.
By letting this law voted for by 90% of French people vote, what do you have to fear? What small sectarian groups who systematically oppose any change of society demonstrate? Is this enough to stop the democratic debate?
At a time when our European neighbors (the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, but also Germany, Italy, Austria, etc.) are evolving on this fundamental question, it would be surprising if the government of France, a country of rights of man, denies our elected representatives the right to express themselves.
We are counting on you, Mr. Prime Minister, to very quickly include on the parliamentary agenda the time necessary for the continuation of the debate on the end of life. Your government would be honored to let elected officials vote for a law which would undoubtedly positively mark the presidential five-year term.
Please accept, Mr. Prime Minister, our very respectful greetings.
The co-presidents of the association Le CHOIX-Citoyens for a chosen death
Nathalie ANDREWS and Doctor Denis LABAYLE