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A group of French people will take part in a citizens’ convention that will help to determine whether to legalise euthanasia and assisted suicide.

The Citizens’ Convention on the End of Life the initiative of President Macron, who wants to put the debate on the right to die at the heart of his second term of office. The government has begun drawing the names of 150 citizens out of a hat to take part.

The issue is contentious, and the Pope denounced Macron’s initiative last week before holding private talks with the president in Rome on Sunday.

Macron is pressing for reform of French law, which allows doctors to give terminally ill patients enough sedatives to lose consciousness, but does not allow them to prescribe or administer lethal drugs.

Macron has said that France’s present legislation leads to “inhuman situations”, though he has conceded that the issue is not simple and he is unsure what modifications were required.

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