This is big progress but now its up the politicians to take responsibility - Jean-Luc ROMERO, the Local


For his part, Jean-Luc Romero, president of the Association for the Right to Die with Dignity, told The Local on Monday that it was now the responsibility of Hollande and the country's other politicians to take action.
 
"For the last 20 years surveys in France have shown that 90 percent of French people are in favour of legalizing euthanasia. It is now the job of these politicians who are elected by the people, to do what they promised to do," said Romero, referring to Hollande's pre-election pledge on euthanasia.
 
"This is the first time in France that we have had a report recommending the legalization of assisted suicide. This is big progress but now its up the politicians to take responsibility," he added.
Despite France's Catholic heritage Romero does not believe a move to legalize assisted suicide would provoke the same protests that were seen during the passage of the law that legalised gay marriage.
 
"This is different. End of life effects everyone, the whole of the population," he said. "Everyone is concerned by this issue. There will be some Catholics and conservative people who will object, but the big majority will be for the law."
Assisted suicide, which is legal in Switzerland, allows a doctor to provide a patient with all the necessary lethal substances to end their life, but lets them carry out the final act.
 
Euthanasia goes a step further, and allows doctors themselves to administer the lethal doses of medicine. This practice, legal in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, is the most controversial.
 
A 2005 law in France already authorises doctors to administer painkilling drugs at levels they know will, as a secondary effect, shorten a patient's life, but any kind of euthanasia reminds illegal.
 
Hollande promised during his 2012 presidential campaign to look into legalizing euthanasia, and a recent poll by research firm Ifop showed 92 percent of those questioned were in favour of euthanasia for "people afflicted with terminal and unbearable illnesses" who wanted to die.
The debate took a tragic turn last month when two couples in their 80s committed suicide in Paris and left notes explaining their acts.

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