Euthanasia: What do patients really think?

This question should join with the reality of Quebecers ( as much that of the patients and of the healthgivers, as heard at the commission).

Can we gauge the feelings of the French regarding euthanasia with a survey?

Decryption of the survey.

This collective of cancerology practitioners from the Curie Institute benefited from the survey results to put a finger on the feeling of discomfort that often exists between them and the patients when the end-of-life approaches. "How can we not interpret a certain loss of confidence towards us, the healthgivers, and the fear of not being well taken care of, listened to, heard and relieved until the end of one's life

A more complex reality than the results of a survey

The medical personnel that expressed themselves in the daily newspaper Libération Fin de vie en cancérologie : un décalage entre les sondages et le quotidien des soignants "End-of-life in cancerology: a delay between the surveys and the healthgivers day-to-day" said that they are confronted with a paradoxal request. The French, according to the survey, said that they wanted to decide upon the moment of their death. But the writers of the article noticed a general uptrend of people in end-of-life wanting aggressive therapy even when treatments were becoming useless.

It seems as if we change our minds according to whether we are healthy, at home, answering a phone survey or bedridden, ravaged by illness and suffering. Which is easily understandable.

The healthgivers also noticed that the patients' requests for euthanasia were often transitory and that they corresponded to bad passes, which shouldn't prevent, according to them, leaving the debate open. But then, they continued, if euthanasia is legalised one day "what message will then be heard by the weakest deemed « euthanasia-ready » : do I still have my place in society ? Must I request death to relieve my family ?"

These cases of conscience show that reality is a lot more complex than the results of a survey. Let us keep the simplifications and the misleading facilities like the subject of sedation. Sedation is often wrongly understood by families, as a means of euthanasia. However, the law is clear. Sedation aims to relieve the patient and to respect his dignity even if, as healthgivers admit in this article, "the treatments provoking a sedation (…) can accelerate the death". It's the intention that makes all the difference. Relief yes. Giving death no.