French Parliament debates legalization of terminal sedation

AP News
Posted: Mar 10, 2015 7:38 AM

PARIS (AP) — France's Parliament is starting debate on a bill aimed at allowing doctors to keep terminally ill patients sedated until death comes, amid national debate about whether to legalize euthanasia.

The proposed bill — backed by the Socialist government — stops short of recommending lethal injections and avoids the terms euthanasia and assisted suicide.

It would give people "the right to deep, continuous sedation until death" at the patient's request, but only when their condition is life-threatening in the short term.

The measure has led to calls for two very different protests in Paris Tuesday. Some organizations are denouncing it as amounting to disguised euthanasia while others are criticizing it as not going far enough.