Nicole Delepine, head of the paediatric oncology unit of Raymond university hospital, has published a report in Economie matin on the subject of "‘euthanasia, or the radical reduction of spending on health." Denouncing what she says are too many cases of euthanasia in France, she explains the drift of the country towards euthanasia and why it should not be legalised because the motivation behind the project is more economic that compassionate.
Nicole Delepine goes on to explain that if the partisans of the legalisation of euthanasia do not put forward a real argument for palliative care and by their actions reduce the possibilities of potentially curative treatment, it is because there is another explanation rather than compassion, the patient’s dignity and the freedom of choice put forward to obtain a "pro-euthanasia" consensus. The real argument for legalising euthanasia, she claims, is the same one that encouraged the campaigns in 1990 highlighting palliative care and placing it in competition with treatment for cancer, for example. "It was quickly understood at the time that morphine costs a few euros while chemotherapy costs hundreds." So that is the true reason: "The hospitals are ‘overloaded’ with patients who are old, tired and perhaps incurably ill […] and the hospitals are in deficit. The costs have to be cut, hence the number of hospitalisations […] So by accelerating the end of life while presenting it as a humane and compassionate choice, the managers can put across this unmentionableidea to the population". She reminds readers that the big media coverage for reducing the health costs began not recently but back in 1995, when mergers of hospitals began, the closing down of small maternity units and local clinics… "These closures radically changed the health care scene."
She explains it as "one of the perverse effects of a law that is well formulated but whose application already has overtaken its goals" (she is referring to the Leonetti law), but also due to the introduction of basing the charges on health care “acts”, the famous T2A clause applied to hospitals which progressively revealed that only these "acts" could be paid for. "With the establishment of quantitative thinking, this a priori logical attempt to pay the hospitals according to the work really provided very quickly had perverted effects and was derailed from its objectives." With the T2A clause, the human activities provided for the patient (toilette, listening, consolation, etc.) were no longer regarded as “acts”. The emphasis is now put on economic viability. Short stays are now an obligation. "It was necessary to curtail the duration of hospitalisations in palliative care also." So those likely to take the longest to leave "would be conditioned to feel too much of a burden, a trial for society and their family because they added to the health funding deficit."
Nicole Delepine calls on her readers to reflect collectively on the value and the meaning of human life so that we can always guarantee respect for the most vulnerable people.