A French man dying of an incurable disease has stopped taking medication, eating and drinking and wants to live stream his dying breaths in protest after a request for assistance to end his life was denied by the country’s president.
Alain Cocq, 57, has a rare and incurable disease that causes the walls of his arteries to close and stick together.
Rather than wait for death, Mr Cocq sought to end his life on his own terms, writing to French President Emmanuel Macron to ask for a substance that would allow him to do so.
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Mr Macron told Mr Cocq telling him he had the president’s “personal support and profound respect”, but said he couldn’t allow him to take his own life or have assistance to do so.
“Because I am not above the law, I am not able to comply with your request,” Mr Macron said in a letter to Mr Cocq.
“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,” he added.
Mr Cocq told Facebook followers he has now completed his final meal and plans to live stream his death on the social media platform, which he expects to occur in the next four to five days.
“I know the days ahead are going to be difficult but I have made my decision and I am calm,” he said.
It’s not clear whether his plan will be allowed to proceed.
It likely violates the policies of Facebook, which the company frequently struggles to adequately enforce.
In July, a UK gym owner and anti-drug advocate took his own life on a Facebook Live stream, which was reported to Facebook by distressed friends and followers after he announced his intention to do so.
The social media site sent him “support resources”.
— with wires