We must improve the "current framework for end-of-life support" by developing, in particular, palliative care, and this independently of the possible legalization of "active assistance in dying", pleaded on Sunday the Citizens' Convention responsible for by the government to work on these issues. Gathered in Paris at the Economic, Social and Environmental Council (Cese) for their seventh working weekend – which will have nine in total – the 184 participants in this participatory democracy system overwhelmingly approved 67 proposals to this effect, said the citizens' convention in a press release.
In total, "97% of voters felt that the current framework should be improved, regardless of their opinion on active assistance in dying", the same source added. Among other proposals, the participating citizens suggest enshrining in law an "enforceable right to end-of-life support and palliative care" and to release the necessary budgets for this on the principle of "whatever it takes". cost ". We should also fund research to better relieve pain, and develop support for the dying by psychologists, they suggest.
During a previous working session, on February 19, the citizens' convention had voted mostly in favor of changing the law to introduce "active assistance in dying". Whether or not this proposal is accepted, however, does not detract from the need to improve palliative care, four of the 184 participants insisted on Sunday during a press briefing.
"As soon as the patient emanates a request for active assistance in dying", the first stage of the response to be provided must revolve around palliative care, summarized Dominique, one of the participants - who did not give his last name. Currently, this is only the case in a third of the situations concerned, he lamented. This question of palliative care had already been discussed at length during previous working sessions, stressed the members of the convention, some of whom had moreover publicly regretted that this point had not been highlighted in the minutes of the work. .
The convention must still meet from March 17 to 19, then from March 31 to April 2, when it will have to submit its conclusions to the government. The executive, which is conducting its own consultations at the same time, has warned that it will probably not take up the conclusions of the citizens as they stand. This question "is important to us but we have no control over this aspect," Dominique commented on Sunday. Citizens will be able to measure the gap between the richness of our proposals and what will ultimately be retained by the legislator,” he observed.