A man who threatened to live stream his own death on Facebook after he was denied euthanasia despite a viral campaign now plans to travel to Switzerland to end his life.
Alain Cocq, 57, who suffers from a disease that is so rare that it does not even have a name, says he is in a permanent state of suffering.
His case went viral in September 2020 when he threatened to live stream his death on Facebook if French President Emmanuel Macron did not change the country's laws to allow for assisted dying.
He had to give up on his project after Facebook cut the feed, but he is still advocating for changes in law and has now decided to go to Switzerland to be able to benefit from euthanasia there.
He is applying to the authorities in the Swiss capital Berne and he hopes to receive a positive response in the coming months, if not weeks.
Cocq suffers from a rare form of disease that has been described as being similar to ischaemia, which is when a restriction in blood being supplied to live tissue causes an oxygen shortage that damages the tissue and can cause dysfunctions.
There is no cure for his condition, which will, very slowly, prove fatal.
"I want end of life to become the primary theme of the presidential elections in 2022," he told local French newspaper 20 Minutes.
Despite his appeal to the French president in September, President Macron said he was "unable to accede to his request" despite the "profound respect" he had for him.
The retired plumber, who has been ill for 34 years, is hoping the Swiss will help him end his life after a failed attempt with the European Court of human rights in 1993 and a first petition to the French government in 1994.
At the time, he was still in a wheelchair, but after that numerous cardiovascular and cerebral accidents rendered him permanently bedridden.
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