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

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FILE - This March 29, 2018 file photo, shows the logo for social media giant Facebook at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York's Times Square. 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/Richard Drew, File)

LE PECQ – 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."