Sports journalist Charles Biétry, suffering from Charcot’s disease, prepared his euthanasia in Switzerland

In an interview with the newspaper L’Équipe, sports journalist Charles Biétry, 79, said he had made arrangements for his assisted suicide in Switzerland. He has Charcot’s disease.

He is one of the most recognizable voices in sports journalism and the figure of Canal +, considerably changing the relationship between football and television. Aged 79, Charles Biétry knows that his days are numbered when he is suffering from Charcot’s disease , an incurable illness.

During a long interview in L’Équipe, the former mentor of the late Thierry Gilardi confided in the progression of his illness and his way of coping with it. As a reminder, Charcot’s disease is characterized by a progressive paralysis of the muscles, offering a life expectancy of three to five years to the affected person, once the diagnosis has been made.

Lucid, Charles Biétry does not want “to be connected to a machine to breathe” and admitted to having already organized everything with his wife and children: “I do not want to suffer and above all to make my family suffer. (…) I registered in Switzerland for assisted suicide, all the papers are signed” .

“This gesture (…) it’s not that simple”
Ready to decide his fate, he still dreads making the move: “You have to take the last pill yourself. This gesture, it’s easy to say ‘I’ll do it’ when I’m at the seaside in Carnac. When someone hands you the pill and tells you that two minutes later you’ll be dead, it’s not that simple. But in any case, everything is ready”.

Currently, Charles Biétry feels his body deteriorating: “lower limb, upper limb, throat and larynx… I am there” he declares, before thinking of the continuation: “ Then, you pass to the stages of collar of first category with the difficulty, even the impossibility of swallowing (…) The next stage is the attack of the lungs (…) When it stops, I want to stop” .

To hold on morally, Charles Biétry takes refuge in sport, despite the contrary opinion of his doctors: “The day when I can no longer ride a bike, it will go very quickly”.

A poignant interview that bears witness to the complicated journey of people with an incurable disease. A few days ago, Emmanuel Macron expressed his desire to establish a bill in France, by the end of the summer, on the question of the end of life.

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