“#Facebook blocks euthanasia advocate from livestreaming his own death”
September 8, 2020 | 12:49pm | Updated September 8, 2020 | 1:03pm
Alain Cocq, 57, has been living with the rare, degenerative health problem Ischemia for 34 years. The heart disease — which causes blocked blood vessels and insufficient blood circulation — is incurable.
Over the weekend, Cocq stopped consuming food, drink or medicine and planned to livestream his death on Facebook in the name of convincing the French government to allow medically assisted suicide, which is currently banned in the country, Reuters reported.
“So I have finished my last meal . . . I drink to your health one last time. The road to deliverance begins and, believe me, I am happy,” Cocq said in a video shot in his eastern France home in Dijon, as he lay in bed Friday night. “I have made up my mind and I am at peace.”
Facebook, however, was far from at peace with Cocq’s decision, and blocked his ability to livestream his death.
“While we respect Alain’s decision to draw attention to this important issue, we are preventing live broadcasts on his account based on the advice of experts that the depiction of suicide attempts could be triggering and promote more self-harm,” Facebook told Reuters in a statement.
Cocq’s plea for what he argues is a suitable end to his suffering come in the wake of US Army veteran Ronnie McNutt’s suicide, which was broadcast live on Facebook a week ago and went viral. McNutt’s friends claimed Tuesday that the social media platform “could have could’ve stopped this and didn’t.”
The French government also refused to support Cocq’s death, or the livestreaming of it.
“Because I am not above the law, I am not able to comply with your request,” French President Emmanuel Macron wrote Cocq in a letter the dying man subsequently published on his Facebook page. The letter came in response to Cocq reaching out to Macron, requesting his doctors be given official permission to help him die by barbiturate.
In defense of his decision, Cocq framed his end not as death — but as a final form of care.
“I am not asking for assisted suicide or euthanasia — but an ultimate care,” Cocq said in defense. “Because I am just trying to avoid inhuman suffering.”
Following Facebook blocking his ability to livestream his death, Cocq promised he would find a new means of livestreaming within 24 hours, and has sought public health in overturning Facebook’s decision.
The Post has reached out for comment and an update.
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