“The Lambert case is not about the end-of-life debate but rather the place of disabled people in our societies”. It raises an issue to which Nazi Germany found a radical response by exterminating more than 200,000 disabled people between 1936 and 1945: “Should we let disabled people live when their life does not seem to us worth living?”
Out of compassion, Germany during the Third Reich went from defending the “right to shorten a dying person’s suffering” to ending the “‘suffering’ of a disabled person’s life“. Furthermore, “the rhetoric is progressive and subtle: by equating the suffering of death with the suffering of life, it opens the way to the excesses of euthanasia on other more vulnerable people. In so doing, the choice to appreciate the value of life was not left to the people concerned – quite the opposite”.