France considers assisted suicide

Dec. 19, 2012 at 8:18 AM
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PARIS, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- A report ordered by French President Francois Hollande suggests the country consider legalizing assisted suicide.

Professor Didier Sicard, who wrote the report released Tuesday, said those suffering from incurable diseases could be allowed to opt for assisted suicide but he cautioned euthanasia should remain illegal, Radio France Internationale reported.

Current law prohibits giving patients medications to kill them, but allows pain relief medication that may shorten their lives.

RFI said the report is critical of doctors who may not understand patients' wishes.

The Hollande government said it would bring an end-of-life bill before the Parliament in June.

The International Herald Tribune said debate in Europe on assisted suicide has been fueled by high-profile cases of terminally ill patients who have been denied the right to die.

Assisted death is legal in the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg and three U.S. states.

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