Aging, end of life

Opinion 121 End of life, personal autonomy, wish to die.

- How and under what conditions should advance directives made by a person in good health or diagnosed with a serious illness regarding the end of life be collected and applied?   

- How can the last moments of a patient's life be made more dignified when treatment has been withdrawn at the request of the patient, the patient's family or the patient's carers?  

- Under what strict conditions should a conscious and autonomous patient suffering from a serious and incurable illness be allowed to be accompanied and assisted in his or her wish to end his or her own life? 

The CCNE has been asked to consider these questions on several occasions over the last twenty years. In its first opinion on this subject in 1991, the CCNE "rejected any legislative or regulatory text that legitimises the act of ending a patient's life" (Opinion No. 26). In 1998, it advocated "a calm public debate on the problem of assistance at the end of life, including in particular the question of euthanasia" (Opinion No. 58). In 2000, it proposed the notion of "a commitment to solidarity and an exception for euthanasia". (Opinion No. 63).

Opinion N°121 "End of life, personal autonomy, the wish to die" presents the current state of the CCNE's thinking, taking into account changes in the law and practices over the last ten years concerning the rights of sick people and people at the end of life, and the report of the Sicard Commission.

Opinion 121(1.14 MB)