A doctor from the University Hospital of Reims, where Vincent Lambert has been hospitalised for more than ten years in a vegetative state, has announced the end of the care of the forty-year-old.
The treating doctor Vincent Lambert announced to the family the interruption of the treatment of this quadriplegic man in a vegetative state for more than ten years and whose case has become the symbol of the debate on the end of life in France, announced Saturday 11th May 2019 to AFP the parents ‘ lawyers.
“Doctor Sanchez of the University Hospital of Reims has just announced to the family of Vincent Lambert that he would make his decision of April 9th, 2018 to run the week of May 20th, 2019, without further details,” said Friday the lawyers Jean Paillot and Jérôme Triomphe in a statement sent to AFP.
All conditions combined for the end of care
On April 24, the Council of State concluded that “the various conditions were met for the decision to stop the artificial nutrition and hydration of Mr. Vincent Lambert could be implemented,” wrote Dr. Sanchez in a letter addressed to the Lambert family and of which AFP obtained a copy.
Thus, “I inform you that the stop of the treatments and the deep and continuous sedation evoked during the collegial procedure will be initiated during the week of May 20”, he added.
Following the decision of the Council of State, Vincent Lambert’s parents filed an appeal before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and the UN International Committee for the Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CIDPH) .
The ECHR rejected this request, but the CIDPH asked France to suspend any decision to stop Vincent Lambert’s care, pending a hearing on the merits. Health Minister Agnès Buzyn stressed that France was “not obliged” to respect this request.
“There is no medical emergency to stop Vincent Lambert’s diet and hydration and there is no justification for such a blatant violation of international law and interim measures requested by the UN,” say the parents’ lawyers.