Facebook blocks livestream of an ill French man who wanted to broadcast his death
Alain Cocq suffers from an incurable illness and sought to bring attention to France’s end-of-life law
Facebook has blocked the live stream of a man in France suffering from an incurable ailment who planned to broadcast his death, Agence France-Press reported. Alain Cocq, 57, has a medical condition that causes his arteries to stick together, and stopped all food and drink as of Friday night. He has used his condition to try to bring about changes to France’s right-to-die law, and announced he would live-stream his death on Facebook.
“Our hearts go out to Alain Cocq and those who are affected by this sad situation,” Facebook spokesperson Emily Cain wrote in an email to The Verge on Saturday. “While we respect his decision to draw attention to this complex and difficult issue, based on the guidance of experts, we have taken steps to keep Alain from broadcasting live, as we do not allow the depiction of suicide attempts.”
Cocq had written to French President Emmanuel Macron in July, asking to be allowed to “die with dignity,” using “active medical assistance,” CNN reported. Cocq wrote that he was of sound mind but was “crippled by suffering.” Macron wrote back that he admired Cocq’s “remarkable willpower” but said he could not grant Cocq’s request.
In France, euthanasia is illegal, and French law prohibits deep sedation that renders a patient unconscious until their death except under specific circumstances. However, French citizens can decide to cease medical treatment, and French law has no provision to prosecute people for suicide, according to CNN.
According to Agence France-Press, Cocq said he would seek another way to post his live stream video after learning Facebook had blocked his attempt.