Intended for healthcare professionals


French parliament passes law to allow sedation at end of life

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: (Published 28 January 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i576
  1. Anne Gulland
  1. 1London

France’s parliament has approved a law that will allow terminally ill patients to be put into deep sedation, stopping short of legalising assisted dying or euthanasia.

The law was introduced by two MPs: Alain Claeys, of the ruling Socialist Party, and Jean Leonetti, a cardiologist and member of the Union for a Popular Movement. It was passed by the upper and lower chambers of the National Assembly after a yearlong passage through parliament.

Patients will be able to request “deep and continued sedation, altering consciousness until death,” but only when …

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