French Doctors Won’t Murder Patient — for Now

by Ryan Fitzgerald  •  •  July 24, 2015   

The decision to stop feeding a comatose quadriplegic in France has been postponed

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REIMS, France, July 24, 2015 ( - In a case with many parallels to Terri Schiavo's in 2005, Vincent Lambert has provoked quite a storm of controversy in France. Lambert was in a severe car crash in 2008, after which he was left in a coma as a quadriplegic. His wife wants to let him die by starvation, while his parents wish to keep him alive through a continuation of basic hydration and nutrition.

His mother is warning that the government in France is "using Vincent's case to legalize euthanasia."

Meanwhile, French bishops are also pleading for his life. Bishop Thierry Scherrer of Laval, who is involved with his diocese's Bioethics Committee, stated last week, "Human life is a gift from God, and doctors are at its service. The omnipotence that technology gives us has to respect this limit."

Bishop Scherrer doesn't wish to see Lambert made into "the hostage of a cause or an ideology" that's hostile to life.

The European Court of Human Rights already ruled in June that the hospital could essentially murder him by withholding basic food and water.

Yesterday, Lambert's family members met with medical staff at the hospital where he's being kept, anticipating a final decision by the doctors as to whether Vincent would be kept on "life support" or not. But the doctors have delayed any such final judgment, citing security fears surrounding the controversy. The entire case is being passed onto the prosecutor's office, which will assign a legal representative to Vincent.

The man's parents were pleased with the extra time. His wife, however, responded, "I am profoundly sad and shocked that some people are putting pressure on the hospital, a place that should be intimate."

Lambert's nephew, who also wished to let him be killed, claimed, "[T]he intimidation is working. The threats are working."

Lambert's parents have reportedly sued the European Court of Human Rights as well as many doctors involved with the case. In addition, it's alleged that Lambert's parents are taking legal action against his wife for "false testimony, forgery, and contrived lies."

A French petition to save his life has already drawn more than 46,000 signatures. That petition can be found here.


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