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The issue of the end of life has been regularly addressed in France for the past two decades: with Law No. 99-477 of 9 June 1999 aimed at guaranteeing the right to access to palliative care, and then Law No. 2016-87 of 2 February 2016 creating new rights for patients and people at the end of life (known as the Claeys-Leonetti Law).
It has gained importance in France over the last few years, first with the Falorni Report on the end-of-life and the proposed law giving the right to a free and chosen end of life, in April 2021.
Recently, the publication of a book denouncing the poor living conditions of elderly residents in private clinics and Ehpads (accommodation establishments for dependent elderly people) managed by the Orpea group has re-launched the debate (Victor Castanet, Les fossoyeurs, Fayard, 2022).
The National Consultative Ethics Committee for Life Sciences and Health, founded in 1983, recently published an opinion on Ethical issues relating to end-of-life situations.
Among other things, the committee said that "active assistance in dying" could be applied in France, but "under certain strict conditions". President Emmanuel Macron has announced a consultation with a view to a possible law by the end of 2023.
Several European countries have already legislated on end-of-life issues.

Further information:
- Press release of the Comité consultatif national d’éthique pour les sciences de la vie et la santé
- Comité consultatif national d’éthique pour les sciences de la vie et la santé, Avis 139 sur les questions éthiques relatives aux situations de fin de vie: autonomie et solidarité
- Olivier Falorni, Rapport fait au nom de la Commission des affaires sociales sur la proposition de loi donnant le droit à une fin de vie libre et choisie, April 2021
- Réforme, "Fin de vie en France, 20 ans de débat et de lois", September 2022

D 15 September 2022    AAnne-Laure Zwilling

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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