Tribune. While the entire media landscape is monopolized by the fight against the pandemic, the authorities are ordered to eliminate any risk of dying from Covid-19, including at the cost of a restriction of freedoms never equaled since the Second World War , here comes before parliamentarians a bill aiming to authorize, under certain conditions, active assistance in dying.
This proposal is based precisely on the freedom to decide for oneself, the ability of everyone to consider that their life is worth living or not, and on the little music hammered at will for several years, “we die. evil in France ”, again taken up at the start of the explanatory memorandum submitted to parliamentarians.
Fear of suffering
Do we die badly in France? Unfortunately, this is sometimes true, in particular when the structures or professionals who receive patients have not been led to think about or integrate the issue of the end of life in their activity, when the staff is lacking, when the initial training. is so poor and continuing education too scarce.
This is even sometimes true in specialized services, because no service or professional can claim to have a response that is always adjusted, always satisfactory, or to have the capacity, as the Claeys-Leonetti law (2016) says, however. ‘”Avoid all suffering”. Suffering exists, we encounter it daily and dedicate our professional life to alleviating and supporting it.
Are our patients asking to die? Extremely few make a repeat request. When this demand persists, what are the motivations? Official reports from states in which euthanasia is possible show that it is the loss of autonomy, the loss of meaning, the feeling of unworthiness, the feeling of being a burden, the fear of becoming or of suffering. which are the driving force, much more than the physical symptoms, not to mention the growing number of American patients who request to resort to assisted suicide for lack of means to cover the cost of their care …
Puppets of (neo) liberalism
All of this is indeed a source of suffering, and being able to hear it honestly is necessary and difficult. But is the only “worthy” response the suppression of the one who saw it? Is the only “courage” taking action? Who speaks today of the courage and dignity of those we accompany and who command our respect, of the overwhelming majority of people at the end of their lives who do not ask to speed things up but simply live, still carried by the essence of life, the human relationship, with their loved ones or with their caregivers? Are they selfish who impose the burden of their illness on their loved ones, and on society the burden of their care? Are they cluttering up hospitals, as we recently heard from Covid patients in intensive care? Is it better to “clear the floor”?
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