An audience before the Family Court at the Reims Regional Magistrate Court was held on February 1, 2016 where the guardianship judge heard the arguments from different members of Vincent Lambert’s family concerning the possible nomination of a tutor for this man hospitalized in a semi-conscious state since 2008.
This procedure was initiated by the Reims Medical Center who appealed the State Procurer on July 23, 2015 to “request global protective measures and determine the referent that could legally represent” the patient (see attached chronology). Since that date, the Procurer has named the guardianship judge, who has been investigating the case for several months before holding the final audience.
During the audience, Vincent Lambert’s wife, who hitherto took a stance for applying a “protocol for the end of life”, explained that her husband “does not need a tutor, I am his spouse. If the courts decide that a tutor is needed, I am obviously legitimate” to be his guardian. The nephew François Lambert also esteemed that “the guardianship is unnecessary; it’s an additional threat for Vincent’s right not to be subjected to disproportionate treatment”. The parents’ attorney for his part, declared that the parents « request the naming of a guardian which would be the first step for a transfer to another medical center better adapted to his condition. Vincent has progressed since last year and his place is not at the Reims Medical Center where there is nothing else but a death project for him.”
Meanwhile, the procurer requisitioned appointing a guardian outside the family circle, as well as nominating two substitute tutors, including Rachel Lambert, Vincent’s wife.
The decision of the guardianship judge will be announced to the different parties next March 10th.
Note: The following document retraces the chronology since 2008 of this painful case, with the principle stages, whether they be medical, legal, or press-related aspects.