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.   

Death of man at centre of French right-to-die case

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The death of Vincent Lambert, 42, who had been in a persistent vegetative state since a motorcycle accident 11 years ago, was announced on Thursday, one week after doctors began withdrawing his life support at the end of a lengthy legal battle that bitterly divided his family.

Father denounces 'murder' of son after losing 'right-to-die' battle

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Doctors in a hospital in Reims, north-east France, have begun removing the last support systems keeping alive Vincent Lambert, who was left quadriplegic with what they say describe as irreversible brain damage following a traffic accident 11 years ago, after his parents finally lost their six-year legal battle opposing the move, a case which bitterly divided Lambert's family.   

Family divided as French medics end life of man in vegetative state

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A French hospital has begun the process of ending life support for Vincent Lambert, 42, who suffered severe brain damage after a traffic accident in 2008, with the agreement of his wife and several siblings but to the dismay of his parents who have fought a lengthy but unsuccessful legal battle against the decision.

French euthanasia doctor 'attempts suicide'

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Nicolas Bonnemaison, who was convicted of poisoning a terminally ill patient, was found slumped in a vehicle in south-west France.

Appeals court convicts French euthanasia doctor

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But court found Nicolas Bonnemaison guilty of just one count of killing a patient and he was given a two-year suspended jail sentence.

French parliament approves continuous sedation of terminally ill

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The National Assembly passed a bill that stops short of euthanasia but allows doctors to give deep sedation to patients until their death.

French parliament readies new end-of-life legislation

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Draft law moves a step closer to euthanasia by giving right to 'deep and ongoing sedation' until death for terminally-ill patients who request it.

French doctor acquitted in 'mercy killing' trial

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Nicolas Bonnemaison, who ended the lives of seven terminally-ill patients, was acquitted of all charges after trial that raised issue of euthanasia.

Top French court grants coma patient the right to die

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But parents of Vincent Lambert, who has been in a coma since 2008, appeal to European Court of Human Rights over case that has split family.

'Poison doctor' trial reopens France's euthanasia debate

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The trial of a doctor accused of fatally poisoning seven patients close to death will judge whether his actions were palliative care or homicide.

French court rules against euthanasia for car accident victim

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The court ruled against ending the life of a 38-year-old quadriplegic for five years in a vegetative state and whose family are divided over his fate.

France moves one step closer to legalising euthanasia

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Medical ethics council rules that assisted suicide be allowed when ailing patients make "persistent, lucid and repeated requests" to end their life.