Association for the Right to Die with Dignity

The Association for the right to die with dignity (ADMD) is a French association advocating “the right for everyone to have an end of life according to personal concepts of dignity and freedom” . In practice, the ADMD intends to obtain in France the vote of a law legalizing euthanasia and assisted suicide (assisted suicide) as well as ensuring universal access to palliative care. A law that would be modeled on the one that already exists in Belgium since 2002.


The association was founded in 1980 by Pierre Simon , doctor and writer Michele Lee Landa 1 . Chaired initially at his death by his son Pascal Landa, it was followed by Paul Chauvet then the senator and former minister Henri Caillavet then the pneumologist Gerard Payen; Its president is since June 2007 Jean-Luc Romero .

ADMD is a member of the World Federation of Right to Die Societies and of the European Federation of Right to Die- Europe (RTD-E ). The association claims more than 67,800 members 2 to 5 July 2016.

Its aim is to change the French law so that each person is respected in his convictions concerning his own end of life, by opening a right to active help to die (assisted suicide according to the Swiss model and euthanasia according to the Belgian model). The association also plays a role of informing the public about patients’ rights (therapeutic reluctance, advance directives, trustworthy person). Finally, the association intends to enforce the law in force at the national level by alerting cases where the law is not enforced, as at the individual level with a telephone line for listening and assistance to anyone wishing to Support or information on the subject.

Representative of Health Users

The Association for the Right to Die with Dignity has been approved by the Ministry of Health to sit in hospital or public health bodies since August 2006 3 . In this capacity, it represents users in healthcare institutions and participates in the various commissions 4 : Supervisory Board, Committee on relations with users and quality of care …


The Chantal Sébire affair

In March 2008, the debate on the end of life was revived by the request for authorization to assisted suicide launched through the media by Chantal Sébire , a patient who suffered from an incurable or incurable tumor. According to the ADMD, the Léonetti Law of 22 April 2005 on the rights of patients at the end of life , adopted after the tragedy experienced by Vincent Humbert , did not allow for the implementation of this request. The purpose of this law is not to allow voluntary death, it is to allow the limitation of unnecessary care and the initiation of sedative and analgesic comfort treatments notwithstanding, where appropriate, the risk of death A faster death.

The Prime Minister, François Fillon , asked the author of the law to carry out an evaluation of the legislation and to submit a report to him. This was done in the first few days of December 2008, following in particular a series of hearings including one in June 2008, the President of the ADMD, Jean-Luc Romero , Claudine Lassen, MD, 1 st vice- President, and Philippe Lohéac, Delegate General. The conclusions of the six months of work appeared disappointing to the proponents of a legalization of euthanasia. Three specific proposals were made: the creation of an end-of-life observatory (effectively created by a decree of 19 February 2010), improved support for companion leave with the possibility in certain cases of an allowance (text passed in 1 st reading in the national Assembly in February 2009) and implemented in each department, a reference palliative care .

“World Day for the Right to Die with Dignity”

30, 31 October and 1 st November 2008 was held in Paris, the 17 th World Congress of associations for the right to die with dignity 5 . A major public meeting was held at the Paris City Hall on Friday 31 October 2008, starting at 7 pm. November 2, 2008, at the initiative of Jean-Luc Romero , was launched on the forecourt of Human Rights in Paris ( Trocadero ), the first World Day for the right to die with dignity 6 . Since then, every year, ADMD celebrates this world day on November 2 .

First Bill

On November 19, 2009, thirty years to the day after Michel Landa ‘ s appeal, published in the newspaper Le Monde, the National Assembly debated for the first time in its history a bill on the right to end its Life in dignity and legalizing euthanasia. The bill was tabled by Jean-Marc Ayrault , Laurent Fabius and Manuel Valls and co-signed by a very large majority of the deputies of the Socialist, Radical, Citizen and Miscellaneous Left (SRC) group. Only 203 deputies (some deputies UMP including Henriette Martinez , Haute-Alpes MP) then voted this text at the solemn vote of 24 November 2009. The National Assembly did not adopt the text.

On January 25, 2011, it was the turn of the Senate to seize a bill on medical assistance to die. This text, the result of a synthesis carried out by the Committee on Social Affairs, chaired by the centrist senator of the Rhone Muguette Dini , was borne by senator of the Rhone Guy Fischer (PC), senator of the Vienna Alain Fouché (UMP) And by the senator of the Channel Jean-Pierre Godefroy (PS). 172 senators voted against; 143 senators voted in favor.

2012 presidential campaign and mandate of François Hollande

On 22 February 2012, the association calls via a question signed by 50 personalities, candidates to the presidential election , to commit themselves to file a bill to legalize the right to euthanasia 8 . In the presidential election, the association asks the candidates to take a stand on the subject, and gets the inscription in the programs of François Hollande and Jean-Luc Mélenchon of the legalization of the right to die with dignity. Candidates who opposed such legalization were the subject of a shocking communication campaign conducted by ADMD and the advertising agency Melville. This is how François Bayrou , Marine Le Pen and Nicolas Sarkozy are seen in a hospital bed, in the article of death, with the slogan: Should we put you in such a position to change the Yours on euthanasia 9 ? On March 24, 2012, a major public event brought together candidates for the presidential election or their representative at the Cirque d’Hiver Bouglione. Just before, nearly 5,000 people had demonstrated on the Place de la Republique in Paris.

After Jean Leonetti and Alain Claeys were appointed rapporteurs of a new law on the rights of patients by the president elected at the end of the campaign, Francois Hollande in January 2015, a law was validated by Parliament in February 2016. This law announcing “new rights” for the sick and the end-of-life people takes up the main elements of the Leonetti law of 2005 and the decree of application of 2010. The numerous parliamentary shuttles between the National Assembly and the Senate Oblige the Parliament to adopt a consensus text far below the expectations of Campaign Commitment No 21 10by François Hollande (the main advances concern the opposability of advance directives under certain conditions and the inclusion Of the right to deep sedation in the law, although this sedation is already legal and practiced since the publication in 2010 of decree n ° 2010-107). These meager evolutions of the rights of the sick and end-of-life provoke numerous reactions and forums in the media 11 , 12 , 13 ,14 .

The Jean Mercier case

On November 10, 2011, Josanne Mercier, who has been weakened for several years by a bone disease that gives her chronic pain and a depression that has led her to several attempts to commit suicide in the past in vain, asks her husband Jean To help him die. The two spouses who have been married for 55 years have made the promise that if life becomes unbearable for one of them, the other will help him to leave serenely. Jean Mercier brought her medicine and a glass of water, and remained close to her until her death. He then calls for help and tells the doctor in charge of issuing the death certificate that he helped his wife to die.

While the children of the couple are in agreement with the choice of their parents, who had made a promise, the State does not intend to let the case pass and attacks Jean Mercier for voluntary homicide, despite a 2011 directive allowing to classify these business opportunity 15 after taking notice. Jean Mercier is placed in custody, then charged on the same day, suggesting that no notice has been taken for a possible ranking as an opportunity. The ADMD, through its Delegate for the Loire, has set up a support committee to accompany Jean Mercier, himself an ADMD activist for many years, throughout the legal process. It is the lawyer of the ADMD Master Mickaël Boulay who represents him. Maître Boulay is also responsible for the Legal Affairs Committee of the ADMD. At the end of the investigation, Jean Mercier was dismissed on this charge. He is then sent back to correctional service for “non-assistance to a person at risk” (article 223-6 paragraph 2 of the Penal Code).

Meanwhile, his lawyer, Mickaël Boulay, files a QPC (Priority Question of Constitutionality): the purpose of this QPC is “To prosecute for non-assistance to a person in danger, based on the application of the provisions of the” Article 223-6 paragraph 2 of the Penal Code, of a person who, by means of provision and without selfish motive, has witnessed the suicide of a capable and non-vulnerable individual who has freely expressed his / her will to exercise his right to avoid Which, in his view, constituted an unworthy and painful end to life, infringed the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution, more specifically article 4 of the Declaration of Human Rights and article 8 of the European Convention on human rights ” 16 . This QPC is rejected by the Tribunal de Grande Instance of Saint-Etienne.

The proceedings resume and Jean Mercier’s trial for “no assistance to anyone in peril” begins on Tuesday, September 22, 2015. The Prosecutor demands 3 years suspended, which Jean Mercier deplores: he considers either he is guilty , In which case he or she must be sentenced to imprisonment, or he or she is not and must be acquitted. In an interview with the Parisian, he declared: “I do not want justice. If I am considered guilty, when I am condemned, and not on conditional sentences. If I am guilty, then there are no half measures ” 17 . Jean Mercier hopes that this case opens the way for an evolution of the law: “I just hope to bring my stone, however modest, to obtain a law. This is the path of modernity, as it was for the death penalty or the right to abortion. I am convinced that there will come, maybe in ten or twenty years, but there will come ” 17 . The decision is rendered on October 27, 2015, Jean Mercier is sentenced to one year suspended for the count of “Non-assistance to person in peril” 18 . The appeal proceedings take place on Thursday 8 September 2016 at the Lyon Court of Appeal. More than 200 ADMD activists and sympathizers are present to support Jean Mercier and ask for his release. The decision of the appeal court is made November 10, 2016 19 : Jean Mercier is acquitted 20 .

The ADMD Tour

From June 30, 2015 to July 26, 2015, the “Youth” section of the association organized and realized a Tour de France by bus, the Admd-Tour. Their national tour stops in 21 cities, where activists inform passers-by about their current rights at the end of their lives and about the administrative procedures currently in force in France (advance directives and trusted person) 21 . A second edition took place from 3 to 30 July 2016 (from Paris to Strasbourg).

General Meetings

30 th General Assembly: Paris, June 6, 2010

31 th general assembly: Lille, June 18, 2011

32 th General Assembly: Marseille, June 6, 2010

33 th General Assembly: Bordeaux, September 21, 2013

34 th general meeting: Strasbourg, 13 September 2014

35 th General Assembly: Annecy, September 12, 2015

36 th General Assembly: Antibes, September 10, 2016

Executive Office

Composition of the Bureau 22 :

  • President: Jean-Luc Romero .
  • Honorary President: Gérard Payen
  • Vice-president: Jacqueline Jencquel
  • Treasurer: Claire Bazin
  • Assistant Treasurer: Gérard Tourette
  • Secretary General: Christophe Michel
  • Deputy Secretary-General: Mickaël Boulay
  • General Delegate (salaried function): Philippe Lohéac

Past Presidents

  • Michel Lee Landa (1980-1981) 23
  • Pascal Landa (1981-1983) [ref. necessary]
  • Paul Chauvet (1983-1986 and 1995-1996) 24 , 25
  • Henri Caillavet (1986-1991 and 1996-2001) 26 , 27
  • Jacque Pohier (1992-1994) 28
  • Jean Cohen (2001-2005) 29
  • Gérard Payen (2005-2007) 30 , 31

Notes and references

  1. ↑ Cecile Prieur, ” The Association for the right to die has doubled its workforce in five years [ archive ] , on the , (Accessed 28 July 2015 )
  2. ↑ ” The ADMD Blog – Association for the Right to Die with Dignity – Do not Let Us Stolen Our Ultimate Freedom [ Archive ] , The Blog of the ADMD – Association for the Right to Die with Dignity – Do not let us steal our Ultimate Freedom (accessed July 29, 2015 )
  3. ↑  [ archive ]
  4. ↑  [ archive ]
  5. ↑ “The Association for the Right to Die with Dignity seizes the Feast of the Dead”  [ archive ] by Agnès Leclair published by Le Figaro le
  6. ↑ Launch: First “World Day for the Right to Die with Dignity”  [ archive ]
  7. ↑ MC. Parra, ” They call on the Lyonnais and the elect on the legalization of euthanasia [ archive ] , sur ,
  8. ↑ Euthanasia: personalities commit themselves to “a law of ultimate freedom”  [ archive ] Our Times / AFP, February 22, 2012
  9. ↑ Delphine Roucaute, « Help at the end of life: candidates position themselves »  [ archive ] , Le, (Accessed 29 July 2015 )
  10. ↑ Commitment 21 – F. Holland Campaign Site  [ archive ]
  11. ↑  [ archive ] “End of life: why the New text does not change much … “- Opinion]
  12. ↑ “The Claeys-Leonetti law pushes back the values ​​of the Republic” – Le Monde  [ archive ]
  13. ↑ “End of life law: advances or a smoke screen? Our disappointment is immense” – Le plus Obs  [ archive ]
  14. ↑ “Noëlle Chatelet: the legislators” do not hear “the question of the end of life” – RTL  [ archive ]
  15. ↑  [ archive ]
  16. ↑ Julien ADMD , ” Assisted suicide – The Jean Mercier case:” From incomprehension to anger … “By Mickaël Boulay [ archive ] (accessed September 29, 2015 )
  17. a and b He helped her to die:” I know she left in peace [ archive ] (accessed September 29, 2015 )
  18. ↑ ” A year suspended for an octogenarian who had helped his wife to die [ archive ] (accessed October 28, 2015 )
  19. ↑ ” One year suspended prison sentence against Jean Mercier on appeal [ archive ]
  20. ↑  [ Archive ]
  21. ↑ ADMD Tour , ” The Association for the Right to Die in Dignity introduces you the program of the ADMD Tour!  ”  [ Archive ] (accessed July 29, 2015 )
  22. ↑ « Office | ADMD [ archive ] , on (accessed August 10, 2015 )
  23. ↑ End of life – Gilles Antonowicz – 1 st part  [ archive ]
  24. ↑ Journal T02 1974-1986  [ archive ] – Galey
  25. ↑ First day for the right to die with dignity – La Dépêche du Midi  [ archive ]
  26. ↑ Henri Caillavet, a legislator unusual Learn more about .99 – The World  [ archive ]
  27. ↑ Death of Henri Caillavet, militant minister and great figure of radicalism – 20 minutes  [ archive ]
  28. ↑ Death of former ADMD President Jacques Pohier – AFP News – 17/10/2007  [ archive ]
  29. ↑ Doctor Jean Cohen President of the Association for the Right to Die in Dignity – RFI  [ archive ]
  30. ↑ Interview. Gérard Payen. End-of-Life Issues – Intelligent Controllers  [ archive ]
  31. ↑ Association for the Right to Die with Dignity – Nice University Hospital  [ archive ]