16-06-2016

[PR] Vincent Lambert – Reaction to the last change in decision-making procedure


Alliance VITA expresses deep concern following the decision announced by the Administrative Appeals Court in Nancy, demanding for the collegial decision-making procedure to be resumed. This could lead to withdrawing life-sustaining treatment and to Vincent Lambert’s death.

Alliance VITA believes that resuming the collegial decision-making procedure must imperatively include the option of having Vincent Lambert transferred to another Medical Center better adapted to his medical situation. In view of developments in his current condition since July 2015, there is no reason to consider that the only option is stopping care, thereby ensuring his death by discontinuing artificial nutrition and hydration.

In July 2015, the medical team at the Reims Medical Center decided to suspend this procedure, and requested for the court to name a legal representative for this man who can no longer speak. This was a wise choice since it leaves Vincent Lambert’s future open for discussion. Next July 8th, a different Appeals Court, in Reims, will decide on the individual most appropriate to fulfill the role of this legal representative.

Tugdual Derville, Alliance VITA’s General Delegate and author of « The Battle of Euthanasia » (Salvator editions):“It is no small paradox in this sad affair, that after offering surprising media coverage to a simple nephew contesting the mother’s position, the court endorsed this request from a member outside the immediate family. The treatment inflicted on Mrs. Vivianne Lambert is completely opposite from that which Mrs. Marie Humbert benefitted, when she decided to provoke the death of her son in 2003…  

« To take care of one’s child, to protect him, to request appropriate care for him…how can such a maternal request not be respected? In what manner is the continuation of Vincent Lambert’s life so annoying that procedures have to be invented to terminate his life? Many families and many care-takers with heavily dependent individuals feel uneasy and are understandably fearful faced with these surprising judicial turnarounds which confirm the inconsistency around this painful situation.

To seek conciliation, we should start by offering Vincent appropriate care, which was refused. To commit euthanasia, without ever pronouncing the word, when Vincent cannot voice his opinion, would be completely hypocritical, and would open Pandora’s Box for other similar cases. To protect patients especially when they are most vulnerable, and continue to provide appropriate care is, on the contrary, a genuine sign of true humanity.”