Suffering from cancer, MCS can no longer leave her bed. She wrote her advance directives to request the application of the Claeys-Leonetti law. She explains why she would have preferred to choose her end of life.
“What does it matter! The main thing is that it’s done properly and that it’s done quickly.” On the phone, MCS’s voice does not tremble even if certain intonations and breaths suggest suffering. The thought is clear. The tempered character. It is not noon. The nurse has not yet arrived to take care of her wounds.
MCS – she wants only her initials to appear – has just told us that, for her, it is now too late to go to Switzerland where assisted suicide is legal. We asked him why more Switzerland than Belgium where you have to press the syringe yourself. “What does it matter! The main thing is that it is done properly and that it is done quickly,” she replied.
McS is 71 years old. Without ever lapsing into pathos, she describes her situation as the 15th World Day for the Right to Die with Dignity takes place on Wednesday, November 2. She has lived in the Passage in the same house, that of her parents, for 67 years. She was an English teacher “face-to-face for 10 years then at Cned for 27.5 years”. She always wanted to be totally independent. “That’s why I never wanted to be married.”
“I have to stay in bed all the time”
In 2010, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She refuses to treat him. She assumes. She explains what, at the time, motivated her decision. “When people died of cancer, I wondered if they had died of cancer or of treatments. I wanted to preserve my digestive system. I don’t regret my choice.”
Three years ago, the cancer manifested itself violently. Blood loss. Head to the emergency room. Since this hospitalization, she has called on nurses to perform the care she used to do herself, such as cleaning her wounds. “I was able to lead a fairly normal life until recently.”
In March, she joins palliative care. Her arm is swollen. The wounds spread. “It was extremely painful, screaming in the middle of the night.” She is back on her feet. And then a month ago, she fell without understanding why. She thinks of small anemia but she falls twice in the same week. The diagnosis of the palliative care doctor is clear: the nerve center is affected.
“For the sick person, euthanasia is more reassuring”
“Today, in HAD (Home Hospitalization), I have to stay in bed all the time. I can only get up if someone holds my hand.” She wants to stay home as long as possible. A room that was used as a storage room has been converted into a bedroom thanks to precious friends.
With the Internet and the telephone, she manages to “orchestrate everything”, to coordinate the housekeepers, the nurses, the night watchmen. “My life is still possible here. When it is not, I will go to the hospital. I wrote my advance directives to request the application of the Clayes-Leonetti law.”
This Clayes-Leonetti law is however not satisfactory according to her. It evokes deep sedation. “How long does it last? 5 days for some. It’s distressing. I don’t want to suffer, I want to be independent. The Swiss system is less hypocritical than France. We are late. For the sick person, the euthanasia is more reassuring.” She who made choices throughout her end would have preferred to make an ultimate one, and undoubtedly the most important: that of her end of life.