End of life: two thirds of French people do not have access to palliative care

Yasmina Kattou
modified to

07:38, December 09, 2022

Should the Claeys-Leonetti law, which authorizes access to palliative care, change? This is the question that will be asked to 150 French people, drawn by lot, who will debate the future of the law this Thursday. If the question divides, the finding is overwhelming: despite this law, nearly two thirds of French people do not have access to palliative care.

Should the end of life law be changed? From this Thursday, 150 French people drawn by lot will debate it in order to submit their conclusions on the subject to the government next spring, without guarantee on their implementation. The goal is to reflect on the advisability of changing, or not, the existing law, known as Claeys-Leonetti, which prohibits euthanasia and assisted suicide. The anti-euthanasia in France advocate the fact that one can already die with dignity in France, thanks to the palliative care units which make it possible to relieve and accompany people until the end, without putting an end to their lives voluntarily.

But in France, palliative care is totally insufficient. Nearly two thirds of French people do not have access to palliative care and only 30% of people who need this care can really benefit from it, according to the associations. And for good reason, in France, 26 departments are totally devoid of palliative care units.

The feeling “that we die badly in France”

“These French there, either they cannot benefit from quality support, or they are forced to leave far from home and their loved ones”, regrets the doctor and president of the French company for support and palliative care. , Claire Fourcade. “It is because of this poor distribution of palliative care in France that we have this persistent feeling among our compatriots that we die badly in France”, she explains at the microphone of Europe 1.

In France, 7,500 beds are dedicated to caring for people at the end of life. This represents 2.8 beds per 100,000 inhabitants. There should be at least 5 beds per 100,000 inhabitants for everyone to have access to palliative care.

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