French President calls for "the right to deep, continuous sedation until death" for the terminally ill
PARIS — France’s president wants to allow doctors to keep terminally ill patients sedated until death comes, amid a national debate about whether to legalize euthanasia.
Francois Hollande stopped short of recommending lethal injections, avoiding the terms euthanasia and assisted suicide, highly sensitive issues in this majority-Catholic country.
Instead, he called Friday for a law that would give people “the right to deep, continuous sedation until death” — at patients’ request, and only when their condition is life-threatening in the short term. Doctors are divided about this kind of terminal sedation.
Debate over end-of-life legislation resurfaced this year over the case of comatose Frenchman Vincent Lambert. His wife wants doctors to stop life support but his parents disagree. The case is pending at the European Court of Human Rights.