Facebook blocks terminally ill man from live streaming his death

Facebook blocks terminally ill man from live streaming his death

Facebook said it would block the livestream of a Frenchman suffering from an incurable condition who wanted to broadcast his death on the social media platform. 

Alain Cocq recently announced that he was refusing all food, drink and medicine after President Emmanuel Macron declined his request for euthanasia.

The 57-year-old suffers from a rare medical condition which causes the walls of his arteries to stick together.

Cocq believed he had less than a week to live and said he would broadcast his death from Saturday morning.

"The road to deliverance begins and believe me, I am happy," he wrote on Facebook shortly after midnight in a post announcing he had "finished his last meal".

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

Facebook has been heavily criticised over the way it monitors content and said it was against their rules to portray suicide.

"Although we respect  (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 Facebook spokesman told AFP.

"Our rules do not allow us to show suicide attempts." 

Cocq is trying to gather supporters saying: "Facebook is blocking my video broadcast until September 8."

"It is up to you now," he said in a message to supporters before giving out Facebook's French address "so you can let them know what you think about their methods of restricting free speech".

"There will be a back-up within 24 hours" to run the video, he added.

Cocq had asked Macron for permission after he wanted to die in peace by taking a substance, but the president refused, saying it was not allowed under French law.

Cocq has used his plight to draw attention to the situation of terminally ill patients in France who are unable to be allowed to die in line with their wishes.

"Because I am not above the law, I am not able to comply with your request," Macron said in a letter to Cocq, which the patient published on his Facebook page.

"I cannot ask anyone to go beyond our current legal framework... Your wish is to request active assistance in dying which is not currently permitted in our country."