President Emmanuel Macron announced he will launch a citizens’ assembly on Doctor assisted dying. The French President showed his support for assisted dying while campaigning in the presidential election. Further details about the ‘convention citoyenne’ will be announced on Tuesday 13th September. Macron called it a move towards “more humanity.
In 2021, a citizens’ jury on the island of Jersey overwhelmingly supported the introduction of assisted legislation, with 78% voting in favour. This led to Jersey’s States Assembly approving assisted dying ‘in principle’ and official legislation is expected to be introduced in 2023.
Macron had previously said he would support having the Belgium model of assisted dying in France. Belgium legalised assisted dying in 2002 by allowing it for adults who experience ‘constant and unbearable physical or mental suffering that cannot be alleviated’. This is broadly similar to the law that we are advocating for, along with the Assisted Dying Coalition.
The Scottish Parliament has just released a report showing strong support for assisted dying. 78% of the respondents to a consultation in 2021 supported a proposed Doctor Assisted Dying Bill by Liam McArthur MSP.
According to France Info, Macron told Jean-Luc Romero, honorary President of the Association for the Right to Die with Dignity ( l’Association pour le Droit de Mourir dans la Dignité – ADMD), that he is committed to passing an assisted law before the end of 2023.
Chair of My Death, My Decision, Trevor Moore said:
“The welcome announcement by Emmanuel Macron of a citizens’ jury on assisted dying for France holds a mirror up to the inaction of our government in addressing this fundamental human rights issue. His commitment to put political weight behind it should shame our politicians into respecting the opinion of the vast majority of the UK population who want a compassionate assisted dying law.
The time for procrastination is over and we call on the new Justice Secretary to instigate a Parliamentary inquiry or to set up a citizens’ jury, following the examples of Jersey, and now France.”