Vincent Lambert: the cessation of care has begun

The treatment of this former nurse, aged 42, in a vegetative state since 2008 following a road accident, was stopped.

Starting Monday, May 20, and under the Leonetti Act of 2005 against therapeutic relentlessness, probes that allow to feed and hydrate Vincent Lambert will be removed. According to doctors, this interruption of care will affect the vital organs and lead to death in a few days. Analgesics against the pain will be administered to him.

The legal struggle lasted more than ten years. Since a road accident that left him in a vegetative state in 2008, Vincent Lambert is at the center of a debate that shakes public opinion, mobilizes medical experts, specialists in law, ethics and policy. A family drama also and especially, which opposes the wife of Vincent Lambert and the parents of the patient who refuse the stop of the care. They filed numerous legal recourses, implored Emmanuel Macron so that the stop of the treatments, decided by the doctor in charge of Vincent Lambert, is invalidated.

In 2013, this practitioner from the University Hospital of Reims, where Vincent Lambert is hospitalized, suffering from "irreversible" brain damage according to the experts, decided not to continue the care, following a protocol established with the medical team, and consultation with his wife, Rachel, in accordance with the Leonetti law of 2005. But the parents of Vincent Lambert, traditionalist Catholics, refuse. At the time, they seized the administrative court ordering the reinstatement of the treatments, on the grounds that they had not been informed of this decision. Other remedies follow, notably at the European Court of Human Rights. Last November, the experts appointed by the court concluded that "an irreversible chronic vegetative state", with no access to consciousness.

Yesterday, some 200 people gathered in front of the hospital with the cry of "life for Vincent", demanding that the treatments be maintained. In addition, the opponents of stopping the care believe that Vincent Lambert has not had the opportunity to express his wishes during his lifetime, even though his wife, Rachel Lambert, claims to have had this discussion with him. It is precisely on the basis of his testimony that the Council of State, on two occasions, considered that this was, by law, a case of "unreasonable obstinacy". This morning again, the parents' attorney said he wanted to try the final legal recourse.


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