Frenchman Alain Cocq accepts palliative care after bid to livestream death

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Alain Cocq lies in bedImage source, Reuters
Image caption,
Alain Cocq suffers from a degenerative disease, which causes the walls of his arteries to stick together

A terminally ill Frenchman who was blocked from livestreaming his own death on Facebook has now accepted palliative care and backed down on a vow to starve.

Alain Cocq, 57, started to refuse food, drink and medicine on Saturday.

But he told AFP news agency on Wednesday that he did not have the "capacity for the fight any more".

The "right to die" case has been closely watched in France, sparking debates over legislation.

Euthanasia is illegal in France, but doctors are allowed to put terminally ill patients into deep sedation until death in limited circumstances, such as when death is imminent.

Mr Cocq has called for the law to be changed to allow terminally ill people to die as they wish. But some influential groups, including the Catholic Church, oppose euthanasia on moral grounds.

Mr Cocq suffers from a degenerative disease, which causes the walls of his arteries to stick together. He says he has been in a "terminal phase" for more than 30 years.

In July, he wrote to French President Emmanuel Macron, describing his "extremely violent suffering" and asking for permission to die "with dignity".

Mr Macron said he was "moved" by the letter, but could not grant the request for euthanasia as he was "not situated above the law".

"Your wish is to request active assistance in dying which is not currently permitted in our country," he said.

In a post on Facebook on Saturday, Mr Cocq announced that he had finished his "last meal", saying he would refuse food, drink and medicine until he died.

"I know the days ahead are going to be difficult but I have made my decision and I am calm," he said.

But Facebook on the same day blocked his plan to livestream himself slowly dying, stating that it did not allow portrayals of suicide.

"Although we respect [Mr Cocq's] decision to want to draw attention to this complex question, following expert advice we have taken measures to prevent the live broadcast on Alain's account," a spokesman said.

Mr Cocq was admitted to hospital in the city of Dijon on Monday, because he was "suffering too much", a spokeswoman has said.

"He still wants to go but without suffering. It was too difficult," she told local media.

After eating again, Mr Cocq told AFP on Wednesday he would be allowed to return home in the next 10 days, where a medical team would be installed.