Paris court of appeal saves man being denied food and water… for now

dehydration, France, French man Vincent Lambert

French citizen Vincent Lambert has been in what doctors say is a vegetative state since a 2008 motorcycle accident. A legal battle for his right to life has been ongoing between his parents and his wife. On Monday, a few hours after the hospital began the process of removing nutrition and hydration in order to starve Lambert to death, as well as putting him under sedation, the Paris court of appeal ordered that nutrition be reinstated and sedation stopped, ruling that the hospital has to delay the removal of food and nutrition until the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities can review the case.

‘They are going to restore nutrition and give him drink. For once I am proud of the courts,” Lambert’s mother Viviane said of the decision which she called “a very big victory.”

Lambert’s supporters celebrated with cheers in the street after Lambert’s lawyer, Jérôme Triomphe, announced, “We won!”

While euthanasia is illegal in France, doctors are allowed to remove life support from terminally ill patients and put them under heavy sedation until their death. Known as “passive euthanasia,” it involves starving and dehydrating a person to death and it is cruel and inhumane.


The court of appeal based its decision on “France’s obligation to respect the interim measures demanded by the UN Committee for the Rights of Disabled Persons,” reported Life Site News.

In 2013, five years after his accident, Lambert was still in a state of quadriplegic paralysis with minimal consciousness, when Lambert’s wife and his doctors decided to stop his care. Six of his siblings and a nephew were in agreement; however, his parents and two other siblings wanted his care to continue. They decided to challenge the court’s decision, but Lambert went without food and was given only a small amount of water for 31 days. In June of 2015, the European Court of Human Rights upheld the decision of a French court to remove nutrition as Lambert’s wife wished. However, doctors didn’t, because of security concerns on the part of Lambert’s father.

READ: Australian group supports child euthanasia, because it’s already happening

Eventually, the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities advised France to delay the removal of nutrition to allow them to investigate the case, but France’s ministry of health said it is not bound by the committee and Minister Agnes Buzy claimed “all legal appeals ha[d] been exhausted.”

Lambert’s parents reached out to President Emmanuel Macron asking him to intervene, saying, “In France, in 2019, no one should die of hunger and thirst.” But Macron simply stated “the decision to stop treatment was taken after a constant dialogue between his doctors and his wife, who is his legal representative.”

Lambert’s wife Rachel claims her husband would not want to live in a vegetative state and wants the hospital to remove nutrtion and hydration, however, his parents say he is responsive to them and want the doctors to continue providing him with care.

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