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Calls for change in French euthanasia laws

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Calls for change in French euthanasia laws


The trial of a doctor and nurse, accused of killing a terminally ill cancer patient in France, has sparked calls for a change in the country’s euthanasia laws. Doctor Laurence Tramois and nurse Chantal Chanel are accused of poisoning Paulette Druais with potassium chloride three years ago.

The two say they gave the 65-year-old patient a fatal dose to end her suffering, when she had no hope of recovery.

Doctor Laurence Tramois said: “I cannot identify what we did as an act of poisoning. It was nothing of the sort. It was an act for our patient, an act of love and compassion.”

The dead patient’s family supported the practitioners, who could face 30 years in jail if they are found guilty. Her son, Laurent Druais, said: “Basically Laurence and Chantal should be acquitted, that is all they deserve. They only did their job.”

Protesters linked hands outside the court, calling for legislation to be changed. Active euthanasia is illegal in France, but doctors can in some circumstances withhold treatment with their patients’ consent.

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