In a press release published on Wednesday, evangelical Protestants in France have positioned themselves against the establishment of active assistance in dying. They invite the country's elected officials to "choose life and not death" by "reaffirming the right of everyone to be helped to live and never to die".
This Wednesday, January 4, the president of the National Council of Evangelicals of France (CNEF), Erwan Cloarec, and the chaplain of the CNEF to parliamentarians, Thierry Le Gall, met the Minister Delegate to the Minister of Health and Prevention , Agnès Firmin-Le Bodo, to present their position on the end of life.
Frankly, the evangelicals of France have declared themselves against the establishment of active assistance in dying by denouncing “any act causing death”.
“Affirming the absolute value of every human life, Evangelical Protestants denounce any act resulting in death, including within the framework of 'active assistance in dying' at the end of life. »
From the first lines of communicated presented to Mrs. Firmin-Le Bodo, the position of the CNEF is clearly affirmed. In particular, they recall biblical principles regarding the value of human life.
“The life of every human has an unalterable value, by the very fact of their belonging to humanity. Every human being created and loved by God, his dignity does not diminish with the years, his social condition, or the decline of his physical and cognitive faculties. For several millennia, the 6th commandment explicitly prohibits any attack on human life: 'Thou shalt not commit murder'. »
Take care of the most fragile
“The Gospel calls us to love and care especially for the most fragile in our society. This is also the position of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen: each human being has a fundamental and equal dignity which cannot deteriorate with age", continues the CNEF which considers that "the humanity of a society is measured in its capacity to love, protect and surround the weak and suffering people, rather than to facilitate their death, or to inspire a duty to die”.
They further state that they are concerned about "the effect on the caregiver-patient relationship of the fact that the hands that heal may be the same as those that cause death" considering that "the basic trust in the caregiver in would be seriously shaken."
Emphasizing that "the Bible invites all Christians to compassion towards those who suffer and to the relief of their sufferings", the evangelicals encourage the development of palliative care adapted "for a dignified accompaniment of people at the end of life, whatever their age. ". They call on the government to "put the necessary means" in this direction "in accordance with the commitments it has made".
The "choice of life"
In conclusion, the CNEF recalls that in "a society where money, profitability and power dominate, but where fraternity diminishes", "humanity resides precisely in the fact of refusing to give in to demographic, lobbyist or economic pressures which call for facilitating premature death”.
In this context, the evangelical organization invites elected officials "to make the choice of life and not that of death" and to reaffirm "the right of everyone to be helped to live and never to die".
Citizens' convention on the end of life
On September 13, the National Consultative Ethics Council published an opinion entitled "Ethical issues relating to end-of-life situations: autonomy and solidarity" which, for the first time, considers possible, under very strict conditions, a possible legalization of "active assistance in dying".
In the process, President Emmanuel Macron announced the organization of a citizen debate in order to obtain proposals on the subject. Friday, December 9 began this famous citizens' agreement on the end of life. It brings together 150 French people drawn by lot to look into the question of a possible modification of the Clayes-Leonnetti law.
It is on the basis of their conclusions that the government will decide whether or not to change the law. The president, who plans to make the end of life the major societal reform of his second five-year term, is however careful not to defend a clear-cut position.
Camille Westphal Perrier
On the same subject read also:
End of life: the Council of Christian Churches in France recalls its convictions
Citizens' convention on the end of life: are the French really informed?
Tribune: "A law authorizing euthanasia is a law for the strong that does not protect the weak"