The socialist Government in France plans to introduce a Bill by the end of the year to legalise voluntary euthanasia.
The announcement was made by French President François Hollande, despite the national ethics committee advising against it.
A majority of Committee members said legalising euthanasia would be “dangerous to society” and a threat to the vulnerable.
A report by the Committee said they were not reassured by the record of euthanasia policies in Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
The report said: “These countries legalised euthanasia for patients in the terminal stage who are able to decide for themselves, but in practice the target group has progressively grown broader and been extended to vulnerable groups in society.”
However, President Hollande said his Government intends to begin legislating to allow euthanasia by the year’s end.
In December it came to light that Belgium is considering allowing children and Alzheimer’s sufferers to ask to be euthanised.
In 2010, a Belgian report showed that some 120 nurses had been involved in killing patients without their “explicit request”.
The same year in Holland, 21 patients with early stage dementia, including Alzheimer’s, were killed by lethal injection.
In Britain, Baroness Warnock has previously called for dementia patients to be allowed to die saying that they are “wasting people’s lives”.