Despair can be seen in his eyes. At only 46 years old, Vincent, who did not want to give his name, is up against the wall. Five years ago, doctors diagnosed him with Parkinson’s disease, an incurable neurodegenerative disease. “I understood that there will inevitably be a moment when I will no longer be able to do anything. So rather than suffer horribly, without hope of improvement, I am trying today to find a way out. » His way out is the use of euthanasia.
But obviously not in France, where for the moment the Claeys-Leonetti law of 2016 only provides for deep and continuous sedation until death if the prognosis is life-threatening. ” short term “. In accordance with his campaign promise during the last presidential election, Emmanuel Macron decided to take the risk of opening this very sensitive debate. A citizens’ convention on the end of life was put on track on October 25. One hundred and fifty French women and men were drawn by lot to participate. It meets for the first time on December 9. With the goal of developing a new legislative framework by the end of 2023.
In the meantime, Vincent is thinking of Belgium, where euthanasia has been decriminalized since 2002. The Belgian border is only about ten kilometers from the Lille metropolis, where he lives. “We receive two to three calls a week from people who want information,” says Monique Ladesou, head of the local northern branch of the Association for the Right to Die with Dignity (ADMD), which campaigns for every French person to be able to choose the conditions for their own end of life.
In Belgium, the Mouscron hospital center, 2 kilometers from the border, has been registering many requests for a long time, “particularly of inhabitants of the north of France”. It is difficult to precisely quantify the phenomenon. We just know that around forty French requests would have been accepted in 2021 by the Federal Commission for the Control and Evaluation of Euthanasia. A relatively stable figure over the past three years.
No upfront fees
Suffering from a pathology in the heart of genetic origin, Pierre, who wished to remain anonymous, initiated a euthanasia procedure a few years ago in the hospital center of Mouscron. During the consultation, he is asked the question: “Which Social Security fund do you depend on? » “From Roubaix” he answers. Response from administrative staff: “It’s all good, everything will be taken care of automatically. » Unlike a Parisian or Lyon patient presenting a European health insurance card, Pierre has no costs to advance.
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Source: Le Monde