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September 6, 2020

Facebook Prevents Man Live-Streaming his Death

Facebook says it will prevent a Frenchman suffering from an incurable disease from broadcasting live his own death.

Alain Cocq, 57, was planning to air his final days after starting to refuse food, drink and medicine on Saturday.

President Emmanuel Macron had previously rejected his request for euthanasia.

Mr. Cocq wants the law in France to be amended to allow terminally ill people to die as they wish. Some groups, including the Catholic Church, oppose euthanasia on moral grounds.

“The road to deliverance begins and believe me, I am happy”, posted Saturday morning Mr. Cocq on Facebook from his bed at his home in Dijon, after announcing to have “finished his last meal”.

“I know the days to come are going to be difficult but I have made up my mind and I am calm,” he added.

Mr. Cocq suffers from a degenerative disease which causes the walls of his arteries to adhere.

But Facebook blocked the plan to broadcast his death live, saying it did not allow depictions of suicide.

“Although we respect [Mr Cocq’s] decision to want to draw attention to this complex issue, following expert advice we have taken measures to prevent the live broadcast on Alain’s account, ”a Facebook spokesperson told the agency AFP press release.

“Our rules do not allow us to show suicide attempts.

“Mr Cocq said Facebook was blocking its broadcasts until September 8. He called on his supporters to pressure the social media platform to change its stance.

“It’s up to you now,” he said.

Alain Cocq

In July, Mr Cocq wrote a letter to Mr Macron, asking the president to allow him to die “with dignity”, describing his “extremely violent suffering”.

Mr. Macron said he was “moved” by the letter, but could not accede to the request because he was “not located above the law”.

Euthanasia is a controversial topic in France, with many supporting the right to die with dignity, while others – especially religious conservatives – have opposed calls for its decriminalization.

Note – Monsieur Cocq is a member of Exit’s sister organisation, Ultime Liberté