French President Proposes Bill to Legalize Medically Assisted Suicide Amid Growing Public Support

French President Emmanuel Macron has proposed a bill to legalize medically assisted suicide, already permitted in neighboring countries, such as Switzerland and Belgium.

The bill stipulates that applicants must be over 18 and either French citizens or residents. To qualify, a medical team must verify that the patient suffers from a grave, incurable illness with intolerable pain and is voluntarily requesting the medication. The legislation excludes those with severe psychiatric or neurodegenerative conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Following a reflection period, an approved patient may receive a three-month valid prescription for lethal medication, which can be self-administered at home, in nursing homes, or healthcare facilities with possible assistance.

The French parliament will soon debate the bill, emphasizing respectful discourse on this sensitive issue. Additionally, the government has committed an extra 1.1 billion euros to palliative and end-of-life care.

Public support for such measures has grown, evidenced by recent polls. Although a 2016 law allows terminal sedation, it does not permit assisted suicide or euthanasia, practices that are legal in several other countries and U.S. states