REIMS, June 16, 2015 (ChurchMilitant.com) - Support has surged in recent days for Vincent Lambert, a severely brain-damaged, 38-year-old Frenchman who has been sentenced to die by the European Court of Human Rights, which ruled that ending Mr. Lambert's artificial nutrition and hydration did not violate Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Deemed by many as France's Terry Schiavo, the battle over Vincent Lambert's life has carried with it some haunting similarities. Like the Schiavo case, Vincent's parents (both devout Catholics) have been spearheading the campaign to keep him alive in opposition to his wife Rachel, who feels that Vincent would not want to go on living like a vegetable. Only two of Vincent's sisters and one half-brother have sided with his parents while six other siblings have sided with his wife.
The case sparked major controversy this week when video surfaced showing Vincent, his ear to a cell phone, listening to his mother's voice while his eyes followed his brother, indicating a level of cognizance. Since the French public had not seen a video showing Vincent in this state, support for his right to live has erupted, including a petition that has already garnered more than 45,000 signatures.
Despite the video, Vincent's doctors have been adamant in their insistence that Vincent has no life within him, accusing his supporters of invading his privacy.
"These patients in a vegetative state react to their environments, but it is a vegetative response," said his former doctor. "This video is an attack on his dignity and his right to privacy — it's manipulative and plays on people's emotions."
In various interviews on radio and television, Vincent's wife expressed sorrow that the video did not have Vicent's eyes blurred out, something the CSA (France's official audiovisual broadcasting watchdog) has ordered all French television stations to do. Fortunately, the CSA has no jurisdiction over the internet ... yet.
Euthanasia currently remains illegal in France, but somehow intentionally starving someone to death doesn't legally equal euthanasia.
Vincent's mother Viviane claims Vincent is merely handicapped and not in a vegetative state. Although the Court's ruling is final and there is no appeal, she vows to continue fighting for her son's right to live.
Sign the petition to support Vincent Lambert here.