France passes “right to die” lawBMJ 2004; 329 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.329.7478.1307 (Published 02 December 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:1307
- Brad Spurgeon
A year and two months after a celebrated case of euthanasia incited a parliamentary commission on the subject, France has passed a law allowing terminally ill or gravely injured patients the right to die.
The law, which was passed by the National Assembly on 30 November but has to be ratified by the Senate, stops short of legalising active euthanasia. But it nevertheless clarifies a common, yet illegal, situation, according to health minister Philippe Douste-Blazy, who called it “a third way, a French way.”
The compromise follows the widely reported case of active euthanasia in which Vincent Humbert, aged 22, was seriously injured in a road accident and …