“I inform you that the cessation of treatment and the continuous deep sedation evoked during the collegiate procedure will start in the week beginning 20 May,” Dr Sanchez, Vincent Lambert’s doctor, announced last Friday in a letter to the patient’s family.
Disregarding the interim life-support measure delivered by the International Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), it decided to implement the decision of the French Council of State, which considered that the various conditions were “in place for the decision to stop Mr Vincent Lambert’s artificial nutrition and hydration to be implemented“.
“There is no medical emergency to stop Vincent Lambert’s food and hydration,” responded the lawyers of Lambert’s parents, lamenting the fact that Dr Sanchez’s decision was made “in deliberate violation of France’s international commitments and international law. Vincent Lambert is not brain-dead, he is not connected to any machine said to be keeping him alive artificially. He wakes up in the morning, falls asleep in the evening, and follows his relatives with his eyes […]. He is not a vegetable, as people say he is,” insisted Triumph, one of the lawyers. “If this decision is implemented, Vincent Lambert can expect to die in a few days […] and Dr Sanchez could be giving Viviane Lambert a dead son for Mother’s Day on 26 May,” the lawyers said.
They have appealed to the defender of rights and the president of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron. They also plan to refer the matter to the courts so that “international law is respected for the benefit of Vincent Lambert“.
On Monday, the future president of the French bishops’ conference, Bishop de Moulins-Beaufort, stated that it “is the honour of a human society not to let one of its members die of hunger or thirst, and to do everything possible to maintain appropriate care until the end”. He added that “to allow ourselves to give up on it because such care has a cost and because we may consider it pointless to let the human person concerned live, would be to ruin the efforts of our civilization”.
For further reading:
Vincent Lambert: cessation of care validated by the French Council of State
AFP (11/05/2019) ; Valeurs Actuelles (11/05/2019) – “La France crache sur Vincent Lambert”, selon les avocats de ses parents