Did the Pope’s visit to Marseille disrupt the government timetable regarding the law on the end of life? That’s what advances Le Figaroaffirming that the presentation of the text was scheduled for Thursday September 21 and that it was postponed for a week, between September 26 and 28. “Executive officials felt that it would be bad manners for the Pope to present this bill the day before his arrival (September 22, Editor’s note) »we read in this newspaper.
None of the sources interviewed by The cross does not confirm this information. “The government has never told us a precise date: from the beginning it has been the end of September,” assures MP Olivier Falorni (MoDem), one of the elected officials associated with the discussions. For him, “the coming of the pope is not a subject”. “The text will be submitted by the end of the month, in the wake of the end of summer as planned,” indicates Matignon for his part.
Assisted suicide or euthanasia?
If the text is still delayed, it is mainly because it is not finished. The Minister Delegate for the Health Professions, Agnès Firmin Le Bodo, who is leading the file, resumed her consultations with parliamentarians and caregivers last week. However, if discussions have progressed well on the most consensual part of the bill – improving access to palliative care – the highly flammable part devoted to “active assistance in dying” remains subject to executive arbitration.
Assisted suicide or euthanasia? It is possible that neither of these two expressions will appear in the text which will land on the presidential desk within a few weeks. An expression including the term ” die “ could replace them, according to a working document sent to parliamentarians in mid-June.
The Assembly, then the Senate
“The main aspect that remains to be decided is the concrete modalities of this active assistance in dying”, says Olivier Falorni. Concerned that all patients have a “equal access” regarding this new right, the MP is reserved regarding the model of assisted suicide, which is based on the administration of the lethal substance by the patient himself: “What will we say to the sick, often the most suffering, who are no longer able to make this gesture? »
The debate will continue in Parliament anyway, in the coming months. The National Assembly must examine the text first – in committee perhaps in the fall, and in session rather in early 2024. The Senate will follow. Mainly on the right, it has already launched its counter-offensive: at the end of June, its social affairs commission adopted a report dismantling point by point the arguments of the supporters of euthanasia and assisted suicide.