France Defeats Senate Bill Allowing Doctors to Starve Patients to Death

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 24, 2015   |   3:30PM   |   Washington, DC

A bit ago I wrote about how the French Senate was considering legalizing terminal sedation as a way to kill the terminally ill.

That column also distinguished between the slow motion euthanasia by dehydration/starvation of terminal sedation and the legitimate and ethical pain controlling technique of palliative sedation.

I won’t repeat that here. If you are interested, hit this link.

In any event, the French Senate wisely said no to slo-mo killings. From the AP story:

France’s senate has voted against a bill allowing the sedation of terminally ill patients, fearing it would lead to allowing euthanasia, which is illegal in the country. Senators in Paris rejected the law by a vote of 196-87.

Unfortunately, that isn’t the end of it as the National Assembly passed the bill. Under the French system, that means more legislative process, with the Assembly apparently having the final say.

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But the Senate’s overwhelming rejection is good news for ethical medicine–at least for now. Note: Wesley J. Smith, J.D., is a special consultant to the Center for Bioethics and Culture and a bioethics attorney who blogs at Human Exeptionalism.