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Euthanasia, assisted suicide, advance directives… when judges face “end of life”

Morten Jensen and Emmanuel Houbol fell in love during the 1998 FIFA World Cup in Nantes. He was a hairdresser, she was a photographer and competition reporter for a Danish daily, they married in 2000 and had a baby boy. At the end of the same year, the young woman was diagnosed with breast cancer, which spread two years later. Morten then left everything to stay by his bedside in Anger hospital day and night, showing a devotion that impressed the medical team.

The dying young woman then confided in her sister: ” I want to go. “ “I want to die.” On January 11, 2003, as she fell into a deep coma, Morten closed her bedroom door. He put rose petals on the bed, lay down on his side, told her “I like you”and clicked on the Tranxen syringe, injecting the twenty-four-hour dose in seconds before acknowledging his gesture to the doctors. Emmanuel was 29 years old.

Morten Jensen was acquitted by the founding court of Maine-et-Loire in 2006. “My gesture is a gesture of love and compassion, not of a murderer”He said at the bar. “The crime of love is a crime, even if it is animated by the best feelings in the world”Solicitor General Thierry Felipeau responded, asking for a two-year suspended sentence, on the grounds that“The justification would be the decriminalization of active euthanasia”. There were no civil parties at the hearing, almost never in these processes, relatives of the deceased are often on the side of the accused. “When a father and a mother who have lost their beloved daughter can forgive my son for this act, can men or the law made by men condemn him? »– Morten Jensen’s father asked. After half an hour of deliberation, his son was acquitted with warm applause.

Euthanasia, assisted suicides… cases of end-of-life patients, suffering from incurable pathologies and wishing to die more quickly end up in court on a regular basis. In France, no one has the right to take life, even at the request of a person, and suicide is prohibited. Taboos that have been abolished by other countries, such as Belgium, but always subject to this legalization or decriminalization very specific conditions.

“special tact”

Should the French framework be developed? Emmanuel Macron reopened the debate in September 2022, in particular, entrusting the reflection to 150 French people to participate in the Convention of Citizens. The roadmap for this assembly, which begins in December 2022, was set out in a question from Prime Minister Elizabeth Bourne: “Is the end-of-life support framework ready to adapt to different situations, or do any changes need to be made?” » The words euthanasia and assisted suicide are not mentioned. But they are on everyone’s mind.

Source: Le Monde



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