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The appeal of the man who inspired “Intouchables” against euthanasia – France


After Michel Houellebecq and while the National Assembly could not go to the end of the debate around the bill on euthanasia last week, it is Philippe Pozzo di Borgo’s turn to make his voice heard. Sponsor of the “Relieve but not kill” collective, the quadriplegic businessman has appealed against any form of legalization of euthanasia.

He writes: “Today I make a solemn appeal to parliamentarians of today and tomorrow: do not abolish our lives! Especially not those of the most fragile. You do not realize the disaster that your support for euthanasia or assisted suicide causes in those struggling with difficult lives as “free, worthy and courageous” deaths. Would I have lacked dignity, courage and freedom by staying alive, I the untouchable, one hundred percent dependent on the help of others to live and therefore participate in society? “

“More than a quarter of a century of quadriplegia, marked – I dare say it – by as many joys as real pain, vaccinated me against the trap of the word ‘freedom’. In complete freedom, after my accident, when I saw no meaning in this life of suffering and immobility, I would have demanded euthanasia if I had been offered it. In complete freedom, I would have yielded to despair, if I had not read, in the eyes of my caregivers and my relatives, a deep respect for my life, in the lamentable state in which I was. Their consideration was the light that convinced me that my own dignity was intact. It is they – and all those who love me – who gave me the desire to live. “

“An absurdity and a violence”

Philippe Pozzo di Borgo continues: “In reality, to assert that on the menu of life one could ‘choose his death’ is absurd and violent, just as it is absurd and violent to require a caregiver to he transgresses the prohibition to kill. Because it is this prohibition which limits its omnipotence, puts us on an equal footing, authorizes me to exist and, if I feel the need, to complain without fear of being pushed towards the exit. “

“We are told: ‘We are offering you a right; it does not take anything away from you’. But if ! This so-called right takes away my dignity, and sooner or later points to the door. Don’t you see the pressure – not to say oppression – that rises when a society makes eligible for death the most humiliated, the most suffering, the most isolated, the most disfigured, the least resistant to the pity of others? , and – some already claim – the most expensive? “

“With my friends from Relieving But Not Killing, I launch this solemn appeal: the time is to take care of each other, to accompany each one, to relieve all pain, sorrow and suffering, to re-establish bonds of solidarity with sick people. , dependent, isolated. The moment is more than ever to relieve, not to kill ”.

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