eurel     Données sociologiques et juridiques sur la religion en Europe et au-delà
Vous êtes ici : Accueil » France » Questions et débats actuels » 2024 » Travaux interrompus sur le projet de loi sur la fin de vie

Travaux interrompus sur le projet de loi sur la fin de vie

End-of-life management has been regulated in France since 2016 by the Clayes-Leonetti law on deep and continuous sedation. Since then, reflection on the end of life has continued, due to societal demand. In 2022, the National Consultative Ethics Committee (Comité consultatif national d’éthique), which had been set up, published an opinion stating that it was in favour of strictly supervised "active assistance in dying", provided that palliative care was stepped up at the same time. A mission to evaluate the Leonetti law was set up in 2023.
One hundred and eighty-four French men and women were then appointed to take part in the debates of the Convention citoyenne sur la fin de vie (Citizens’ Convention on the End of Life). The Convention came out in April 2023 in favour of a conditional opening up of active assistance in dying, and more specifically of both assisted suicide and euthanasia. Considering that the existing legislative framework was insufficient, they said they wanted palliative care to be offered "for everyone, everywhere".
On this basis, the President of the Republic asked in March 2023 for a bill to be drafted. This was tabled on 10 April 2024 by Mr Faloni.

The bill integrates the concept of palliative care (the management of pain and the end of life) into the more encompassing concept of "supportive care", which also covers other modalities (nutritional care, psychological support, music therapy....) and provides for the creation of support centres for people at the end of life. With regard to assisted dying, the law aims to authorise and support the provision of a lethal substance to a person who so requests, so that they can administer it themselves or, if they are unable to do so, have it administered by a doctor, nurse, relative or a volunteer of their choice. The person concerned must be of full age, French (or a legal and stable foreign resident in France, able to express his or her wishes freely and in an informed manner, suffering from a serious and incurable disease with a life-threatening prognosis, a victim of suffering that is impossible to relieve or unbearable). A conscience clause has been introduced for healthcare professionals who refuse to take part in the assisted dying procedure : they will have to refer the person to a colleague.
The MPs debated the bill on first reading until 7 June 2024, and the law was due to be voted on 18 June 2024, but the work was interrupted by the dissolution of the National Assembly on 9 June 2024. For discussion to resume, the new government would have to re-table the bill on the Assembly’s table after the legislative elections on 30 June and 7 July 2024.

The debate did not attract a great deal of support, although it did provide an opportunity for communications from conviction-based groups. These various statements highlight a gap between French society as a whole, which is overwhelmingly in favour of this law as shown by polls and the Citizens’ Convention, and religious institutions.

These churches have mainly expressed their opposition or reluctance to this bill.

In 2022, the Conseil d’Églises Chrétiennes En France (CÉCEF) published a declaration on the end of life, signed jointly by the three co-presidents, Monsignor Éric de Moulins Beaufort (Conférence des évêques de France), Pastor Christian Krieger (Fédération protestante de France) and Metropolitan Dimitrios (Assemblée des évêques orthodoxes de France).

After expressing its reservations in 2022 in a pastoral letter, the Conférence des évêques de France again spoke out against on 28 March 2024.

Through the work of its Ethics and Society Commission, the Fédération Protestante de France has produced a report entitled Pour davantage d’humanité en fin de vie : interpellations protestantes.

The Conseil National des Évangéliques de France published a position statement in January 2023, which was presented to the Minister for Health ; it published a second statement in May 2024.

In 2023, the Assembly of French Orthodox Bishops (Assemblée des évêques orthodoxes de France) published a declaration on the end of life, followed in April 2024 by a declaration on the constitutionalisation of abortion and the end of life.

In 2024, the religious leaders of the major monotheistic religions, meeting in Paris, stated that there was "no united front" against a new text on active aid in dying, but once again expressed their opposition to this text.

Haïm Korsia, Chief Rabbi of France, also expressed his rejection of this text on 23 May 2024.

Finally, a manifesto has also been signed by various Christian associations.

See also Laetitia Atlani-Duault (dir.), Religions et fin de vie, Fayard, 2023.

D 18 juin 2024    AAnne-Laure Zwilling

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

Suivez nous :
© 2002-2024 eurel - Contact