Caroline Roux, Director of VITA International, was interviewed by French Christian Radio on Vincent Lambert’s case.
Some excerpts from the broadcast:
“In 2013 Vincent’s nutrition was abruptly stopped for the first time, without any advance notice. This is what made his parents realize that their son was not receiving appropriate care. This terrible incident originated a complete change in their relationship with the caregivers. They lost their confidence and trust in them.”
“His parents are requesting his transfer to a specialized care unit for patients like Vincent, who are in a state referred to as unresponsive wakefulness, pauci-relational or chronic vegetative. Why is there such a blockade? Why is his transfer being prevented? Addressing this issue would be a way to get to the heart of the controversy.”
“The point is to find the best way to accompany patients with severe disabilities. It is completely different from palliative care. Vincent Lambert is not at the end of his life, he is not in a coma, nor attached to numerous tubes, wires and drips.”
“We can talk about unreasonable obstinacy when the treatment appears useless for the patient. The real issue is how any severely disabled person should be treated and cared for?”
“The real danger of such cases it to imagine oneself in this type of situation. Every case is unique and we must decide separately the kind care due to these heavily handicapped persons in a state of minimum wakefulness, like Vincent.
“Can the basic survival elements of hydration and nutrition be discontinued for a person who is not at the end of his life?”
“Vincent Lambert is not at the end of his life, although he cannot speak for himself. Thus, the question is how can we care for these persons without imagining ourselves in their place? What is the most appropriate decision to be made for this person?”
“Our SOS End-of-Life Service receives many calls and we have observed that the patients have lost confidence in the caregivers over the past several years. Our objective is to reestablish sincere and trustful relationships.”
“The law provides protection by prohibiting killing. In collegiate procedures, this must stimulate imaginations to find solutions to care for these individuals in the most appropriate manner.”
“In palliative care, patients are cared for at the end of their lives towards their dying moments. Vincent Lambert is not at the end of his life. He and his family deserve to be supported in the best possible way.”
“To resolve the dilemma and chart a heartfelt win-win course of action, I am pleading for Vincent to be transferred to an appropriate specialized care unit. Remember that for the past five years, he has not had any physical therapy, neither any time outside the hospital… whereas his family has been ready to attend to him at home.”