This Saturday, the Order of Physicians declared itself “unfavorable” to doctors being able to participate in “a process which would lead to euthanasia” in the event of a change in the legislation on the end of life, at the end of a consultation.
At the end of nine months of reflection by its departmental and regional councils, the Order speaks at a time when the citizens’ convention on the end of life is completing its work. She will probably recommend on Sunday the legalization of “active assistance in dying”, without it being known yet what the intentions of the President of the Republic are on the question.
The Order asks for a conscience clause in the event of legalization
The Order of Physicians says in the preamble “unfavorable to any possibility of setting up an active procedure for assisted dying for minors and people unable to express their will”.
In the event of legislative change towards the legalization of active assistance in dying (euthanasia and/or assisted suicide), it “will be unfavorable to the participation of a doctor in a process which would lead to euthanasia, the doctor cannot deliberately provoke death by the administration of a lethal product”.
In the event of legalization of assisted suicide, the Order requests a specific conscience clause “which could be highlighted at any time during the procedure”, without however preventing the doctor claiming this clause from continuing to follow his patient.
“The law must protect the doctor”
For the Order, “the assessment, the decision of eligibility for active aid in dying and the responsibility should be collegial” and the treating or referring doctor “should systematically be a member” of this college if he has not invokes his conscience clause.
If he is “unfavorable to the active participation of the doctor during the taking of the lethal product by the patient”, he considers that he should be able to follow it until his last moments if he has not asserted his clause of consciousness.
Finally, the Order believes that “the law should protect the doctor who participates in the procedure of active assistance in dying”.
In the current state of the legislation, the Order “considers it imperative to allow better application of the Claeys-Leonetti law”, which prohibits euthanasia and assisted suicide, but allows “deep and continuous sedation until death in specific cases, and says he is particularly ready to contribute “to the development of palliative and support care”.