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Video: Proposed French law stops short of euthanasia

FRANCE 24

In the wake of two senior lawmakers submitting a report Friday that French President François Hollande said would be the basis of new legislation to help the terminally ill die “in comfort”, FRANCE 24 went to meet palliative care patients.

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Stopping short of calling for euthanasia, Socialist lawmaker Alain Claeys and UMP lawmaker Jean Leonetti said that terminally-ill patients wanting to end their lives must be heard.

France is deeply divided on this controversial issue, and the report stops short of recommending euthanasia, which is legal in the Netherlands and Belgium, or assisted suicide as practiced in Switzerland.

The lawmakers said instead that France should allow the terminally ill, if they request it, to be put under “continuous deep sedation” until they die.

Under current rules, sedated patients have to be revived occasionally to make sure they still consent.

“People in France don’t die well,” the two politicians told reporters ahead of the report’s release. “We need to allow patients to end their lives comfortably and without suffering.”

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