Tuesday, March 25, 2008

French Euthanasia Advocate Didn't Die of Natural Causes, Autopsy Indicates

French euthanasia advocate Chantal Sebire did not die of natural causes, according to an autopsy done on her body following her death last week. Sebire wanted help to take her own life because she had a rare tumor that was ravaging her face and she unsuccessfully pressed for France to allow the practice.

Sebire died suddenly on Wednesday, just two days following a court's decision denying her the ability to have a physician prescribe her a lethal dose of drugs.

An autopsy on her body has yet to pinpoint the cause of death but Dijon prosecutor Jean-Pierre Alacchi told the media it showed she didn't die of natural causes

France adopted a law in 2005 that allows patients to refuse lifesaving medical treatment, but it does not allow assisted suicide nor does it allow euthanasia -- where a doctor would actively administer the toxic drugs.

The law says medical treatment should not include "unreasonable efforts" and that a terminally ill patient should be able to "limit or stop all treatment."

Doctors can stop giving treatment when it "seems useless, disproportionate or has no effect other than maintaining life artificially."

Following Sebire's death, several top officials have said it may be necessary to review the nation's law.

Should France legalize assisted suicide it would join other European nations in doing so.

Isn't this the reason used to enact Roe v Wade in the US? Where does it end, when human life is deemed to be "worthless"?