Europe 1 with AFP 20:37 p.m., April 01, 2023At the end of nine months of reflection by its departmental and regional councils, the Order of Physicians said it was "unfavorable" to doctors being able to participate in "a process that would lead to euthanasia" in the event of a change in the legislation on the end of life.
The Order of Physicians is "unfavorable" to doctors being able to participate in "a process that would lead to euthanasia" in the event of a change in the legislation on the end of life, at the end of a consultation whose conclusions it publishes Saturday. At the end of nine months of reflection by its departmental and regional councils, the Order of Physicians speaks at the time when the citizens' convention on the end of life ends its work. She will probably recommend Sunday the legalization of an "active aid in dying", without it being known yet what are the intentions of the President of the Republic on the issue.
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A specific conscience clause
The Order of Physicians says in the preamble "unfavorable to any possibility of setting up a procedure of active assistance in dying for minors and people unable to express their will". In the event of a legislative change towards a legalization of active assistance in dying (euthanasia and/or assisted suicide), it "will be unfavorable to the participation of a doctor in a process that would lead to euthanasia, the doctor cannot deliberately cause death by the administration of a lethal product".
In the event of legalization of assisted suicide, the Order asks for a specific conscience clause "which could be highlighted at any time during the procedure", without preventing the doctor asserting this clause from continuing to follow his patient.
Decisions that "should be collegial"
For the Order, "the evaluation, the decision of eligibility for active assistance in dying and the responsibility should be collegial" and the attending physician or referent "should be systematically a member" of this college if he has not asserted 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 believes that he should be able to follow him until his last moments if he has not asserted his conscience clause. Finally, the Order considers that "the law must protect the physician who participates in the active assistance in dying procedure".
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In the current state of the legislation, the Order "considers it imperative to allow a 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 in particular ready to contribute "to the development of palliative and support care".