On June 20, when Vincent Lambert’s three court-assigned doctors resigned, the Administrative Court in Chalons-en-Champagne, France, is now reconsidering whether or not to request a new expert for assessing the clinical recommendations for his case.
Appointed by court order on May 2, 2018, the 3 designated doctors were given one month to assess and report on Vincent Lambert’s clinical status. They handed in their resignation on June 14th, stating “they were not able to resist against criticism and attempts of manipulations”. They pointed out that “the three experts have no way of properly organizing this expert assessment, nor do they have the authority to control those who handle contempt, slander and lies”. In the end, the doctors suggested that the court appoint “a panel of experts, invested with undisputable authority”.
The June 20th hearing was intended to determine “the terms of the expert assessment”. The court president explained that the court is now faced with “two options: either appoint 3 new experts for an expert assessment, or conclude that the expertise was a failure, and, in such a case, “decide without further delay whether or not to stop treatment.
On one side of the family, Vincent Lambert’s parents’ lawyer Jean Paillot states “We’ve requested this expertise, and especially the truth on Vincent’s medical status” since “his state of awareness and responsiveness has changed”. Paillot also requested that the expertise be carried out by a specialized unit, outside of the hospital.
Those willing to stop treatment include other family members, and among them his wife and legal tutor, Rachel and his nephew François. Their lawyer Mr. Gérard Chemla, states that in any case “the expertise will not change the debate since the doctors have already gone as far as they can go and it is a case of unreasonable obstinacy”
As for now, the date for the hearing has not been set.