As France ponders legalising euthanasia, the terminally ill seeking an end to life look abroad


President Emmanuel Macron has launched a series of national consultations aimed at a possible reform by the end of next year of current legislation in France which prohibits euthanasia and assisted suicide, and limits medical intervention to the administration of deep sedation only in the final stages of a patient’s illness. In the meantime, those already in deep suffering from incurable degenerative diseases and who wish to end their lives before the worst stages have only the option of doing so in countries which allow euthanasia or assisted suicide, notably Belgium and Switzerland. Sarah Boucault reports.   

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It was during the middle of last year when Katherine Icardi-Lazareff, 67, who until then enjoyed regularly practicing running and swimming, first felt the symptoms, which began with occasional falls. It was in September, and after a series of medical tests, that she was finally diagnosed as suffering from motor neurone disease, a neurodegenerative condition otherwise known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.