“On the subject of the end of life, I spoke to the pope about it on my own initiative, telling him that I did not like the word euthanasia,” the head of state told the weekly Le Point, considering that “death is a moment of life, not a technical act”.
The pope spoke out on Friday against euthanasia in front of French elected officials, calling on the contrary to “accompany life until its natural end”.
The Vatican considers euthanasia a “crime against human life” and assisted suicide as a “grave sin”, those who have decided to resort to it not being able to receive the sacraments.
In September, the National Consultative Ethics Committee ruled that “active assistance in dying” could apply in France, but “under certain strict conditions”.
A citizens’ convention on the end of life will begin its work in December in order to guide the government on a possible change in law.
“The path proposed by the ethics committee is interesting,” said the head of state, citing the case of “people with incurable diseases” such as Charcot’s disease.
Emmanuel Macron, who plans to make the end of life the major societal reform of his second five-year term, assured not wanting to “preempt the debate”, which he considered “sometimes simplified”.
“Does my death belong to me? It’s an intimidating question, I’m not sure I have the answer,” he told Le Point.
“Constitutionally, the end of life is not a subject of referendum”, he also noted, seeming to favor the parliamentary route for a possible evolution of the legal framework.