Alliance VITA notes with sadness the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) by 12 voices to 5, in favour having the a doctor cease giving food and water for Vincent Lambert, without referring to his parents.
Our thoughts go first to Vincent Lambert and to all the members of his family who were hanging on this crucial decision.
Quite apart from the situation of a man who was seriously handicapped but not dying, this decision will worry thousands of people who accompany some 1700 seriously brain-damaged patients living in France, and thousands of others in every country in Europe. Families, friends and those who care for them with devotion stand to be discouraged.
The honour of a society is to look after its most fragile members. Accepting the deliberate provoking of death by cutting off food and hydration for someone seriously handicapped and incapable of expressing himself, but not at death’s door, constitutes a serious signal for the whole of Europe, first inkling of a swing towards rejecting the most vulnerable category of citizens. Already cited in the press are those who promote lethal injections denouncing this mode of euthanasia in favour of another, more expedient one.
In the matter of Vincent Lambert, however, an alternative solution does exist. In fact, there is the opportunity to be taken in by a special unit for patients who suffer the heavy consequences of neurological accidents.
Alliance VITA pleads with health authorities, administrators and politicians alike, to accept the request to transfer Vincent Lambert to a unit specialised for his condition. Furthermore, Alliance VITA is by stopping food and hydration, which can only have one possible goal : provoking death for brain-damaged or other heavily dependent patients.