Emmanuel Macron announced on Tuesday the launch of a broad citizen consultation on the end of life, with a view to a possible new "legal framework" by the end of 2023, after the publication of an opinion on the question of the Advisory Committee National Ethics.
A citizens' convention, organized by the Economic, Social and Environmental Council (CESE), will be "constituted in October" and will deliver its conclusions in "March 2023", said the Elysée in a press release.
Debates will also be organized by the regional ethical spaces in the territories "in order to reach out to all citizens and allow them to be informed and to measure the issues related to the end of life", added the presidency. .
Consultations will also be carried out with the palliative care teams who are regularly confronted with the end of life, she specified.
At the same time, the government will engage in “concerted and cross-partisan work” with the deputies and senators, also underlined the presidency.
“All of this work will make it possible to consider, if necessary, the clarifications and changes to our legal framework by the end of 2023”, added the Élysée.
The head of state does not rule out either a parliamentary outcome or a referendum, which would be the first since his arrival at the Élysée in 2017.
The Ethics Committee ruled on Tuesday that "active assistance in dying" could apply in France, but "under certain strict conditions". He also pleads for accelerating efforts in favor of palliative care.
The debate must "give each of our fellow citizens the opportunity to consider this subject, to be informed, to appropriate the common reflection and to seek to enrich it", notes the Elysée.
"The necessary time will be taken, and all guarantees must be given to ensure the conditions for an orderly, serene and informed debate", insisted the presidency.
Immediately, opposition parties in parliament viewed the initiative with skepticism.
“As far as I am concerned, I am opposed to it, I think that we have a law that is well done, the Claeys-Léonetti law and we must not go beyond”, estimated Marine Le Pen on France2.
"Completely pipeau citizen's convention", denounced the leader of the LR group in the Senate Bruno Retailleau, at the microphone of Sud Radio, pleading instead to put "enough money, means on the table" for palliative care, which is lacking according to him to "two-thirds" of the people who need it.
"The time has come to take new decisions to open up this possibility of dying with dignity in a very controlled way", judged on LCI the deputy LFI Clémentine Autain, "very skeptical" on the other hand on the "method" of the citizens' convention after the "fiasco" of that on ecology.
While emphasizing that we "are not starting from nothing" in this area thanks in particular to the Claeys-Léonetti law, the former President of the Republic François Hollande estimated on BFMTV and RMC that there "could be an additional step but “that supposes very precise conditions and that is what must be prepared today”.
The Editorial Board (with AFP)