Paris: The panel, which was set up at the request of President Francois Hollande, on Monday said it recommended voluntary euthanasia in cases of terminal illness, provided the person in question was of sound mind when requesting to die.
“The possibility of committing medically assisted suicide … is, in our eyes, a legitimate right of a patient close to death or suffering from a terminal pathology, based first and foremost on their lucid consent and complete awareness.”
The so-called “Conference of Citizens,” consisting of 18 people picked by polling firm Ifop as representatives of the population, said at least two doctors would have to vouch for a patient’s lucidity of mind.
Assisted suicide allows a doctor to provide a patient with the necessary substances to end their life, with the patient carrying out the final act.
The panel also said it was in favor of euthanasia – when doctors administer lethal doses of medicine themselves – in very specific circumstances, such as when patients are not able to give their direct consent. However, it ruled out legalizing the practice as a whole.
In addition, it called for more palliative care in France, where it said only 20 per cent of people in need of such care have access to it.