Alain Cocq is an unfortunate French man who has contracted a painful terminal illness. He has been unable to get out of bed for two years and is heading towards his final moments in this life. Cocq has taken a big decision. He wants the entire world to see the pain and suffering he would undergo as he says goodbye to this world.
The 57-year old man suffering from a degenerative condition will live stream his death on Facebook in an act of protest against the laws of his country, which don't allow euthanasia, and also against President Emmanuel Macron's statement of inability to do anything in this matter. The streaming will begin on Saturday evening and will, it seems, garner great attention.
Debate over Euthanasia
This episode has reignited the debate over euthanasia in the country. While many nations have allowed ailing patients to avail of it in cases of no hope, France still hasn't legalized it. Being a predominantly Catholic country, there is strong opposition from the Church and conservative sections of society against letting people choose to die on their own terms.
Catholicism attaches great significance to life and taking it away is considered an impious act. Cocq had made a request to President Macron that he should get the laws of the country changed so that he does not go through the unimaginable agony in the final moments of his life. But the President responded that it won't be possible for him.
"Because I am not above the law, I am not able to comply with your request. I cannot ask anyone to go beyond our current legal framework. Your wish is to request active assistance in dying, which is not currently permitted in our country," the French President told the ailing man in a letter.
The dying man could have some relief if he lets himself be sedated in the dying minutes of his life. In 2016, doctors were given the mandate to provide this assistance to terminally-ill patients. However, Cocq has chosen to not alleviate his sufferings in this way.
The condition he suffers from causes convulsions and brain aneurisms. Once the pain and agony of the disease got too much for him, he said he wants "to die in dignity." "I've reached the stage where it's no longer tolerable," he had announced last month.
France had witnessed another prominent case in the past where euthanasia was demanded. Vincent Lambert was a 32-year old man who suffered serious brain damage after having an accident in 2008. While he remained unconscious, his family requested for him to be euthanized. But that request was also not granted. Lambert passed away last year.