91-year-old director Jean-Luc Godard, who died today in Switzerland at the age of 91, chose to leave this world by assisted suicide. This was announced by the family’s legal advisor, Patrick Genre, quoted by AFP and Le Monde.
Godard had sought help in Switzerland for euthanasia because of “severe debilitating illnesses,” according to medical records, Genre explained, confirming information first published by Liberation newspaper.
In Switzerland, there are various forms of assisted dying, including passive euthanasia and suicide. They are allowed under certain conditions. Anyone who “driven by selfish motives” assists a suicide – for example by supplying a lethal substance – is punishable by imprisonment for up to five years or a pecuniary penalty.
The possibility of assisted suicide is established by codes of medical ethics and supported by organizations, mainly “Exit”, which assisted nearly 1,400 people in 2021 to end their lives.
Assisted suicides have been on the rise in Switzerland in recent years, from 187 cases a year in 2003 to 965 in 2015, according to data from the Federal Statistical Office. After a slight decline in 2016, they are starting to increase again.
The family of the French director announced that there will be no official funeral or burial. Jean-Luc Godard will be cremated and his relatives will say goodbye to him in a private ceremony.
However, there are organizations providing the possibility of assisted suicide within the established rules, but under the condition that “no selfish motives” can be attributed, notes France Presse.
Godard was the creator who, in the 60s, changed forever the boundaries and the way of storytelling in the seventh art. He is known as the “bad child” of the French New Wave.
Among his most famous films are “To the last breath”, “A woman is a woman”, “Contempt”. In them, the Frenchman rejects the traditional aesthetics that existed until that moment in the cinema. His films touch on many philosophical themes. He has worked with the biggest names of French cinema.
The creator left more than a hundred films created within the framework of his career, which lasted almost six decades.