Philippe Pozzo di Borgo against euthanasia: the man behind the success of Intouchables explains

The man who inspired the film 'Intouchables', Philippe Pozzo di Borgo, is involved in many causes that support people with disabilities. At the heart of the debate on his legalization of euthanasia which is opening in France, the septuagenarian is positioning himself as the leader of anti-euthanasia.

  Philippe Pozzo di Borgo against the'euthanasie : l'homme derrière le succès d'Intouchables s'explique

Revealed to the general public in 2011 when his story was brought to the big screen by Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano in the film Untouchables, Philippe Pozzo di Borgo is a French businessman, from a family of Corsican nobility, who became a quadriplegic following a paragliding accident. Confined to his wheelchair, the man recounts his experience and the very strong relationship that binds him with his assistant Abdel Yasmin Sellou in The Second Wind , the book that will inspire Untouchables , a film in which Francois Cluzet and Omar Sy interpret the quadriplegic billionaire and the struggling suburbanite.

Philippe Pozzo di Borgo and euthanasia: his position

In The Motionless Walker , his latest book published in 2021, Philippe Pozzo di Borgo takes stock of thirty years of disability. The rich quadriplegic looks back on his childhood in a wealthy family, his career within the LVMH group in the 1990s, the tragic disappearance of his first wife Béatrice, suffering from bone marrow cancer and who died shortly after his accident. of paragliding, but also addresses the thorny issue of euthanasia . ' After my accident, when I saw no meaning in this life of suffering and immobility, I think I would have demanded euthanasia if it had been offered to me. The deep distress in which some people find themselves does not ask to be interrupted, but to be relieved, accompanied “, he confided to To face .

As pointed out The Parisian October 19, it's in his book The Motionless Walker that he justifies of his fight against euthanasia, a choice which should nevertheless be of the order of the personal, of the intimate, and not to receive the approval of anyone. ' Myself, after my accident, coming out of the coma, I felt this need to die (…) Euthanasia reflects a community that is falling apart and resigning. Asking to be unplugged isn't that denouncing a society's inability to provide comfort at the end of life? “, he writes.

What actions does the 'Relieve but not kill' collective carry out?

While the president Emmanuel Macron reopens the debate on the legalization of euthanasia, the collective Relief but not killing of which Philippe Pozzo di Borgo is a sponsor, organized rallies in more than sixty cities in France on October 18 on the occasion of the world day against pain . For the collective, which considers euthanasia as a form of resignation, it was a question of asking for the reinforcement of the services of palliative care in France to relieve the pain of the sick.

What becomes of Philippe Pozzo di Borgo 10 years after the success of Untouchables ?

Today, the septuagenarian lives between Essaouira, in Morocco, where he lives with his second wife Khadija, and their two children, and the Nantes hospital where he is medically followed.

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Since the release of the film Untouchables , Philippe Pozzo di Borgo received thousands of messages from people suffering from handicap and has invested in many causes to support them. In particular, he became honorary president of the Simon de Cyrène association, which is dedicated to the creation of shared living centers for people with multiple disabilities and head trauma throughout France. Since 2015, he has also been the sponsor of the association Relieve but not kill, which campaigns against euthanasia.