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Raising a plastic cup, Alain Cocq gestured towards the camera and said, “Well, my friends, Ill drink to your health one last time.”

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In a video livestreamed to Facebook just after midnight on September 5, the 57-year-old Frenchman announced to his followers his plan to die. Cocq has an extremely rare, painful and incurable medical condition that causes the walls of his arteries to stick together. He says that hes been in the terminal stage of his illness for the last 34 years.

Publiée par Alain Cocq sur Vendredi 4 septembre 2020

After unsuccessfully petitioning French President Emmanuel Macron to allow him to die in dignity through medical assistance, Cocq announced that he would stop eating and drinking, starting on Friday night, and that he would livestream the process on Facebook.

But the social media platform quickly moved to ban Cocq from posting videos. Cocq told his more than 22,000 followers and 4,000 Facebook friends that the site had blocked him until September 8. He has previously said that he expects to die within two to five days.

"Facebook has blocked me from broadcasting video until 8 September. Now it's up to you [to act]". © Alain Cocq on Facebook

Undeterred, Cocq said that he would find another solution within the day. But he also called on his followers to protest against Facebooks “unjust methods of discrimination and obstruction of freedom of expression”.

Un système de repli sera actif d'ici 24H00 quand à la diffusion de la vidéo Mais ne manqué de faire savoir ce que vous…

Publiée par Alain Cocq sur Samedi 5 septembre 2020

Facebook considers his death a suicide, depictions of which are banned on the social network. A spokesperson from Facebook France told French newspaper Le Monde that while the company “respects his decision to want to draw attention to this complex issue”, its regulations meant it was obliged to block his video “because our rules do not allow the showing of suicide attempts”.

Why livestream your death?

Alain Cocq has long campaigned for the right to a medically assisted death. Hes travelled in his wheelchair from his home in Dijon in eastern France to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, to the European institutions in Brussels and to the United Nations in Geneva to meet with lawmakers and advocate for the right to active euthanasia.

Cocq explained to French media that he wanted to show his final moments of agony to an online audience of thousands of people “so that people know what the end of life is like in France”.

He is clear, however, that he doesnt want the video to be too upsetting for viewers. He plans to broadcast it without sound and the camera will stop filming as soon as he dies. “For me, its out of the question to show disturbing images,” he said. “The moment I pass away will be a deliverance. The fight will go on after me.”

Alain Cocq in his home in Dijon.
Alain Cocq in his home in Dijon. © Philippe Desmazes, AFP

The law in France

Cocqs deteriorating condition has confined him to his bed at home, where he says he is “crippled by unbearable pain”. He wrote a letter to the French president imploring him to let him “pass away peacefully”. In the response Cocq received on September 3, Emmanuel Macron wrote that he was “moved” by Cocqs plea, but said that “because I am not above the law, I cannot grant you your request”.

Euthanasia is illegal in France. The Claeys-Leonetti law, which was modified in 2016, grants the rightRead More – Source