Church leaders challenge French Government over euthanasia proposals

Church leaders have warned the French Government against advancing “immoral legislation” that would allow euthanasia.

Last month, the country’s National Consultative Ethics Council sanctioned the Government’s plans to introduce euthanasia legislation in 2023.

Both the Protestant Federation and the Roman Catholic Bishops’ Conference of France expressed their opposition to the proposed changes.


Following the Ethics Council’s report, which reversed its previous findings and said that “active assistance in dying” could now be allowed “under strict conditions”, President Emmanuel Macron has launched a ‘citizens’ jury’ on legalising euthanasia.

In response, the Protestant Federation said: “For Christians, dignity is intrinsic to every person created in the image of God: it is neither gained nor forfeited”.

It added: “Given the inadequacy of resources currently allocated to palliative care, we share the fear that this proposed legislative change is mainly motivated by economic or ideological considerations.”


French doctors can currently stop life-sustaining treatments and keep terminally ill patients under “deep continuous sedation” until death.

If the proposed law is passed, France will become the sixth country in Europe to allow euthanasia or assisted suicide.

One of Scotland’s top bioethicists, Dr Anthony Latham, said: “In countries where euthanasia and assisted suicide are legal, the fear of being a burden on loved ones is a significant factor in agreeing to such a death.”

He explained that while non-assisted suicide rates are dropping across Europe, the rate is increasing in the Netherlands. Dr Latham said this is “very likely reflecting an overall acceptance of the unacceptable belief that lives can become unworthy of life and that suicides are normal”.

Also see:

Hospital corridor

Irish elderly fearful of assisted suicide proposals

‘Dehumanising’ assisted suicide Bill makes headway in Scottish Parliament

Canada: Experts warn against even weaker euthanasia lawst

House of Lords rejects assisted suicide

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