Alain Cocq suffers from an agonizing incurable condition. Having refused care, he is planning to livestream his death on Facebook in protest against French laws forbidding medically assisted suicide.
Cocq announced his decision on Friday, saying his livestream would begin on Saturday morning. The 57- year-old decided to let himself die after failing to persuade French president Emmanuel Macron to amend the country’s rules regarding euthanasia.
“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,” Macron said in a letter that Cocq published on social media on Thursday. “Your wish is to request active assistance in dying, which is not currently permitted in our country,” the president concluded, saying he respected Cocq’s course of action.
The dying man has decided to broadcast his final sufferings to protest at the country’s right-to-die regulations. Cocq said he hoped to be remembered and that his protest would pave the way for legal changes that would allow some forms of assisted suicide.
Since 2016, French doctors have been allowed to keep terminal patients sedated during their final moments. Cocq’s principal objection is that he wishes to remain conscious.
Even before Macron rejected his plea, he was decided on what he needed to do, medical care no longer being able to relieve his suffering. His condition causes the arteries to collapse into themselves, provoking brain aneurisms, convulsions, and constant pain.
Cocq has been bedridden for two years because of his untreatable degenerative illness. “I’ve reached the stage where it’s no longer tolerable,” he said at the end of August. At that time, he specified that he would have to “follow a path that is very painful,” if Macron refused to allow him “to die in dignity.”
Cocq’s isn’t France’s first widely covered pro-euthanasia protest by a terminally ill patient. In 2019, 32-year-old Vincent Lambert was left permanently unconscious following a car accident. He was also refused assistance in death, despite his family’s requests.
France is one of the many European countries that do not currently allow active forms of euthanasia. This is widely considered to be the result of the Catholic Church’s lobbying efforts and broader societal influence.
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