A French man who has been in a vegetative state for over 10 years after a car accident is currently being legally starved to death, despite objections from his family and pro-life advocates.
His impending death comes after a drawn-out legal battle.
Vincent Lambert, a 42-year-old former nurse and quadriplegic, has now gone without any food or water since Sunday, when it was withdrawn; Lambert’s family was informed last Tuesday that this would occur, reports say. In 2008, a car crash left Lambert paralyzed and with severe brain damage, a condition doctors said was irreversible.
An appeals court decision that ruled that Lambert must be kept alive pending a review by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was overruled by France’s highest court on June 28.
Attorneys for Lambert’s parents, who are devout Catholics and have pushed for him to be kept alive, have pressed “murder” charges over the decision to discontinue vital treatments. His wife, meanwhile, believes he should have the right to die, arguing that he would not have wanted to live this way.
The case has reignited the debate over end-of-life care in the European nation. Euthanasia is presently banned in France but a law was introduced in 2016 that grants terminally ill patients the right to be put into a coma, involving the administration of heavy sedatives to ease any suffering, until the patient dies.
“It has taken more than 10 years to rule on the case of a man in a vegetative state who always said he wouldn’t want to end up this way,” said Philippe Lohéac, who heads of the French association for the right to die in dignity (ADMD), bemoaning that the current legal structure “leaves the door open to endless appeals by religious extremists.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brandon Showalter