Sunday, 11 October 2020
Terminally ill Frenchman Alain Cocq, an activist for a dignified end of life, on Saturday announced his intention to allow himself to die, one month after a failed attempt to do so.
“From Monday 12 October at midnight, I will stop all hydration, food and medication, except pain medication,” Mr. Cocq told French news agency AFP. “I’m going to go all the way,” he added in a reference to his earlier attempt on 5 September.
On that day, he had stopped taking any hydration, food and medication. However, many days of suffering that he described as “intolerable” caused him to be readmitted to hospital, where his treatment was resumed.
At that time the Emergency Services, SAMU, “intervened and offered to ease my pain, which I accepted,” he recalled.
“There was a misunderstanding because their understanding was that hydration and feeding needed to be resumed,” Cocq explained in a streamed intervention from his medical bed at the General Assembly of the Association for the Right to Die in Dignity, ADMD, held on Saturday in Dijon, France.
“This time, it’s clear: I’ve taken on a lawyer and the SAMU is going to be informed by letter,” he told AFP.
Cocq said he was being advised by attorney François Lambert, nephew of Vincent Lambert, a nurse who had been in a vegetative state for some time in France. The elder Lambert died in 2019, after being placed under deep sedation, which his wife and Francois had been in favour of, but which his parents had opposed.
Alain Cocq said he would not livestream his final moments on his Facebook page or any other site, unlike his first attempt.
The 57-year-old Frenchman feels he no longer has a “worthy” life because of the extremely painful medical condition that has him bedridden.
In August, he had asked French President Emmanuel Macron, in vain, to authorise his doctors to administer the powerful barbiturate pentobarbital on compassionate grounds, which would have enabled him to “go in peace.”
The Brussels Times