Tuesday, January 25, 2011

France's Prime Minister speaks out against euthanasia

The Connexion news service has reported that Prime Minister François Fillon has spoken out against a proposal that was debated in France's Senate to legalize euthanasia.

Prime Minister Fillon's comments were reported this way:
Speaking on plans going through the Senate today, Mr Fillion said that, although he had never had to face the nightmare of living with someone as they died, he was still against a law allowing actively helping someone to die.

He thought such a law would not fit in with the “basic values of our society” and that to legislate giving the right to end someone’s life was a limit “we should not go beyond”. He said it was also “very dangerous” as it did not allow for any consultation with the family.

Mr Fillon said the debate should also take account of the actions taken since 2008 by Nicolas Sarkozy who has made the care of terminally ill people “an absolute priority”.

That had led to the development of a palliative care programme that has seen the creation of 1,200 new beds and the start, last March, of specific financial aid to allow families to care for terminally ill loved ones.

The Connexion explained the proposed euthanasia bill in this way:
The law, proposed by Jean-Pierre Godefroy (Parti Socialiste), Alain Fouché (UMP) and François Autain and Guy Fischer (Parti communiste-Parti de gauche), is debated in the Senate this evening.

It proposes that “Each capable adult, in an advanced or terminal phase of a serious accidental or pathological terminal ailment, inflicting physical suffering and mental impairment that cannot be eased or that they can no longer bear, can ask for medical help that will allow, by deliberate act, a quick and pain-free death.”

At the same time, 700 protesters from the group - ADV - did a mass "die off" demonstration near the French Senate in Paris. It was reported by LifeSiteNews that:
The scene was played three times between 12:45 and 1:30 pm. local time. While the players – men and women of all ages – were lying “dead,” Tugdual Derville, spokesman for the ADV, called on the French Senate not to legalize euthanasia, arguing that it is never a solution for human suffering, but a way to deny ill, suffering and handicapped people their human dignity.

Derville also called for increased public support, financial and otherwise, for palliative care and for all the volunteers who help to make it possible. At the same time he pointed out that ADV is opposed to “overtreatment,” or intensive care which tends to prolong life beyond its natural course in an overly aggressive manner.

It was reported by LifeSiteNews that:
The French Senate commission, which voted in favor of a pro-euthanasia bill last week, retracted its vote. The Senate is now expected to adopt amendments rejecting the bill. However, the ADV and other pro-life groups are warning that the euthanasia lobby will not stop its efforts to make killing of the ill and suffering legal, all the more so because opinion polls show a majority of French people are now in favor of euthanasia.

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