Terminally ill French man Alain Cocq, who was blocked from live-streaming his final days on Facebook, has now accepted palliative care after he refused food and medication for more than three days.
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Cocq, 57, had to be admitted to hospital just days after using his situation to raise attention to the conditions of terminally ill patients in France who are not allowed to die in line with their wishes. “I am sorry but I need some serenity to depart in peace,” he said through his spokesperson, lawyer Sophie Medjeberg. It was Medjeberg who explained to the media that Cocq had been admitted to the main hospital in the city of Dijon on Monday.
“He is suffering too much, it was too hard,” Medjeberg said on Tuesday. “He still wants to go but without suffering.” Medjeberg said she did not know if the doctors would resort to “deep sedation that could lead to a coma that could be irreversible or send him back home with a mobile unit for palliative care”.
Medjeberg went on to say that she did not know at the moment if doctors would resort to “deep sedation that could lead to a coma that could be irreversible, or send him back home with a mobile unit for palliative care”.
Euthanasia is illegal in France, although doctors are allowed to put terminally ill patients into deep sedation until death occurs in limited circumstances, such as when death is imminent and unpreventable.
Mr Cocq has called for the law to be changed to allow terminally ill people to die as they wish, although some influential groups, including the Catholic Church, oppose euthanasia on moral grounds.
Mr Cocq suffers from a degenerative disease that causes the walls of his arteries to stick together. He says he has been in a “terminal phase” of the disease for more than 30 years. Cocq wrote to the French President recently describing his “extremely violent suffering”, asking for permission to die “with dignity”. Mr Macron said he was “moved” by the letter, but could not grant the request for euthanasia as he was “not situated above the law”.