In this file photo dated Thursday Aug.6, 2020, French President Emmanuel Macron waves as he visits Beirut, Lebanon. Frenchman Alain Cocq who suffers from a long-term and incurable degenerative illness had planned to show what he expects will be a painful end to his life, but Facebook said Saturday Sept. 5, 2020, it has blocked his live broadcasts and President Macron has said that French law forbade him for granting Cocq’s request for a medically-assisted death. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, FILE)

In this file photo dated Thursday Aug.6, 2020, French President Emmanuel Macron waves as he visits Beirut, Lebanon. Frenchman Alain Cocq who suffers from a long-term and incurable degenerative illness had planned to show what he expects will be a painful end to his life, but Facebook said Saturday Sept. 5, 2020, it has blocked his live broadcasts and President Macron has said that French law forbade him for granting Cocq’s request for a medically-assisted death. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, FILE)

Facebook blocks ailing man’s planned end-of-life broadcasts

“I know the days ahead are going to be very difficult”

LE PECQ, France — Facebook on Saturday blocked live broadcasts from a chronically ill bed-ridden man who appealed to French President Emmanuel Macron for a medically-assisted death and who wanted to show what he expects will be a painful end to his life after he announced that he was stopping all food and drink.

Prostrate on his bed, Alain Cocq posted video of himself Friday after taking what he said would be his last liquid meal.

“I know the days ahead are going to be very difficult,” he said. “But I have taken my decision and I am serene.”

In a letter this week, which Cocq also posted, Macron said that French law forbade him from granting his request for the “right to leave with dignity,” with a medically-assisted death.

“With emotion, I respect your approach because it speaks to the very intimate relationship that each of us builds with the end of our life and our death,” Macron said in the letter dated Thursday, sent after one of his aides spoke at length with Cocq by telephone in August.

But Macron added that “because I am not above the law, I am not in a position to grant your request.”

In a handwritten addition at the end, Macron signed off the letter with the words, “With all of my personal support and my profound respect.”

French media have reported that Cocq, a 57-year-old former plumber, suffers from a long-term and incurable degenerative illness. He says that he has lived in great pain for 34 years and that after multiple operations, he prefers to die. In his Facebook post on Friday evening, he said the alternative would be “the degradation of my body.”

“I am going to stop hydrating myself when I turn off the lights,” he said. “Given my general condition, it’s likely to be quick, which is what I hope for, because I’m not a masochist.”

He said he would keep taking painkillers.

“The path to my deliverance is starting and, believe me, I am happy about it,” he said. “To those I won’t see again, I say goodbye. Such is life.”

Cocq had planned to subsequently live-broadcast the end of his life that he expects will follow within days of his decision to stop all food, liquids and medicines. But a message Saturday on Cocq’s account said that Facebook has blocked him from posting videos until Tuesday.

Facebook confirmed that it had blocked Cocq’s live broadcasts.

“Our hearts go out to Alain Cocq and those who are affected by this sad situation,” it said in a statement. “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.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Black Press file photo.)
Red Deer city council holds closed-door discussion about proposed aquatics centre

Recommended design, cost and location won’t be made public until next spring

A community gathering space was created in front of the new Red Deer Culture Services Centre before the 2019 Canada Winter Games. (Advocate file photo).
Red Deer’s Culture Services Centre to get additional $4.6 M in renovations

It’s one of many capital projects approved by city council

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, reported an additional 1,307 COVID-19 cases Tuesday. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Central zone up to 1,249 active COVID-19 cases

Red Deer sits at 257 active COVID-19 cases

Mayor
Mayor Veer appointed as Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer has been appointed an Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel by… Continue reading

Const. Jason Tress
Mountie testifies another RCMP officer sexually assaulted her at 2012 party

Former Mountie on trial for sexual assault in connection with incident in northwestern Alberta

Idyllic winter scenes are part of the atmosphere of the holiday season, and are depicted in many seasonal movies. How much do you know about holiday movies? Put your knowledge to the test. (Pixabay.com)
QUIZ: Test your knowledge of holiday movies and television specials

The festive season is a time for relaxing and enjoying some seasonal favourites

Team Manitoba celebrate after defeating Team Ontario to win the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Moose Jaw, Sask., Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Curling Canada wants Calgary's Canada Olympic Park to be a curling hub for the season's top events. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
CP NewsAlert: Calgary facility set to become curling hub during pandemic

CP NewsAlert: Calgary facility set to become curling hub during pandemic

Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney watches late in the second half of the team's MLS Cup soccer match against the Seattle Sounders on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019, in Seattle. Vanney has stepped down as coach of Toronto FC. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP Photo-Elaine Thompson
Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney steps down, says it’s the right time to move on

Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney steps down, says it’s the right time to move on

Hamilton Forge FC's Giuliano Frano (8) heads the ball against CD Olimpia's Jorge Benguche (9) during Scotiabank CONCACAF League 2019 second half soccer action in Hamilton, Ontario on Thursday, August 22, 2019. Forge FC looks to win its way into the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League on Tuesday when it takes on Haiti's Arcahaie FC in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF League, a 22-team feeder competition that sends six clubs to CONCACAF's elite club tournament. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter Power
Forge FC loses penalty shootout to Haitian side in CONCACAF League quarterfinal

Forge FC loses penalty shootout to Haitian side in CONCACAF League quarterfinal

Public health must balance science and society: former top doctor

Public health must balance science and society: former top doctor

California boat captain indicted in fire that killed 34

California boat captain indicted in fire that killed 34

President Donald Trump participates in a video teleconference call with members of the military on Thanksgiving, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020, at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Trump headed to Georgia as runoff boost, but also a threat

Trump headed to Georgia as runoff boost, but also a threat

Flames and exhaust trail behind a Long March-5 rocket carrying the Chang'e 5 lunar mission after it lifted off at the Wenchang Space Launch Center in Wenchang in southern China's Hainan Province, early Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. China launched an ambitious mission on Tuesday to bring back material from the moon's surface for the first time in more than 40 years — an undertaking that could boost human understanding of the moon and of the solar system more generally. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
China spacecraft lands on moon to bring rocks back to Earth

China spacecraft lands on moon to bring rocks back to Earth

FILE - In this March 16, 2020, file photo, vials used by pharmacists to prepare syringes used on the first day of a first-stage safety study clinical trial of the potential vaccine for COVID-19 rest on a lab table at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle. An influential scientific panel on Tuesday, Dec. 1, is set to tackle one of the most pressing questions in the U.S. coronavirus epidemic: When the first doses of COVID-19 vaccine become available, who should be at the front of the line for shots? (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
US panel: 1st vaccines to health care workers, nursing homes

US panel: 1st vaccines to health care workers, nursing homes

Most Read