Following the publication of the two decrees of application and that of an order signed by the French Minister of Social Affairs and Health, Marisol Touraine, the Clayes-Léonetti law on the end-of-life cure has entered into force in France. Starting today, the patient can exercise what has been defined as his right and request the suspension of treatment and deep and continues sedation until death.
The first implementing decree spells out the conditions under which the patient’s wish can be met. An article signed by Nicholas Scheffer, published in Le Monde, explains that the person will have to indicate in a form whether (s)he accepts or declines the possibility of interrupting respiratory assistance, artificial feeding or hydration. In addition to indicating their will to continue the treatment or not, patients will be also able to apply for deep and constant sedation, associated with pain treatment. In this case, the person will be in a kind of induced coma till the moment of their death.
The second decree establishes the validity criteria of the advance directives. These directives can be written by the person who is already aware of being affected by a serious illness or by a third party – before two witnesses – if the person involved is physically unable to do it alone. These directives have no time limit, wheres up till now, they had to be updated every three years.
Minister Marisol Touraine has explained that the measures concerning the end of life cure, which have entered into force, had been “wanted by the president of the Republic”, Francois Hollande.