Right-to-die activist postpones death, continues campaign

In conversation with French right-to-die activist, Jacqueline Jencquel.
In conversation with French right-to-die activist, Jacqueline Jencquel.

Connexion caught up with right-to-die activist Jacqueline Jencquel, who we spoke to in 2018 and January 2020, just as a French erotic film came out focusing on the same subject. Liv Rowland spoke to her about her new book and to the director and star of the film.

Jacqueline Jencquel set a date to die by injection in Swit­zerland in January this year to avoid the ill health and disabilities of what she calls the “winter of life”, from the age of 75. She was in relatively good health when she made the decision. Now 76, she suffers several health problems, though none that are severely debilitating. When we last spoke to her, Ms Jencquel, who lives between Paris and Switzerland, had postponed the date to this summer, coinciding with the publication of her candid autobiography, Terminer en beauté (To finish beautifully).

When we spoke last, you thought this summer would be the date. What has changed?

I had my date – July 20. Then my son announced they are expecting a baby in November, and it didn’t seem a nice thing to do. If I were desperately ill, it would be different, but it’s all about my rational thought that one should be able to decide. I campaign for choice. My own story isn’t important, though the media has taken an interest. But it’s a subject nobody really thinks about.

In that case, why have you published a book about your life?

I was going to write a book with another publisher but they wanted it to be ghostwritten, and I didn’t like the idea. Then, after my story created a buzz in 2018, Editions Favre in Lau­sanne said I could write whatever I like. It was a pleasure to write. But they said it won’t interest people if I only write about the ...

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