Former French president François Mitterand’s death was assisted suicide, a book claims, despite the fact he was a staunch opponent of euthanasia.
A new book by French journalists Denis Demonpion and Laurent Leger claims Mitterrand was given a fatal injection to end his suffering at his request.
Mitterrand died in 1996 after suffering from cancer for 15 years, but his illness was a secret when he was alive.
If these allegations are true then one has to wonder why Mitterrand chose to hide his planned death, provided that he had opportunity to disclose so.
By reversing his conviction about euthanasia he would have damaged his political integrity one might argue. But at the same time he could have made himself an example for a wider policy change desperately needed by thousands of sufferers.
Whether Mitterrand had been in immense pain to make a healthy judgement, or he refused to conflict himself we may never know.
It is not pleasant to speculate after a dead man, but I think there is a lesson we should all learn from this.
No one, absolutely no one should be entitled to take a moral position against euthanasia based on assumptions about the degree of suffering one has to go through before taking the grave decision to end their lives.
The EXIT euthanasia blog