The Stopping of Care for Vincent Lambert Began, a “Madness” for his Parents

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Sevastopol Hospital in Reims where the quadriplegic Vincent Humbert remains in a vegetative state, on June 27, 2015.

Validated by the Council of State, the end of the care of Vincent Lambert, patient in a vegetative state for ten years, began Monday 20th May, 2019.

The interruption of treatments to keep alive Vincent Lambert began Monday, May 20, 2019, a medical decision that has angered his parents , whose chances of stopping “this madness” are dwindling.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which rejected them on April 30, again rejected their request Monday for lack of “new element”.

Emmanuel Macron boots in touch

President Emmanuel Macron , to whom they had written Saturday to implore him to intervene, told him on Monday that he “does not” suspend “the treatment stop , decided,” in accordance with our laws “, just days before the European elections.

The same day, their lawyers again seized the Council of State and announced an “emergency hearing” before the Court of Appeal of Paris, following a decision of the TGI of Paris Friday. Another action envisaged: in the Criminal Court of Reims against Dr. Vincent Sanchez, who signed in April 2018 the request for termination of treatment and they claim removal.


It is in a mail addressed to the family that this head of the palliative care service of the Sevastopol hospital of Reims informed him of Vincent Lambert’s “end of treatment” and “deep and continuous sedation”. 42 years old, quadriplegic in a vegetative state for more than ten years. From medical sources, the patient could die in a few days or two to three weeks.

The doctor said “hope for Mr. Vincent Lambert that everyone will open a parenthesis and gather, with him, so that these moments are the most peaceful, intimate and personal”.

An allusion to the irreconcilable positions that have ruptured the family for six years: on the one hand, parents, fervent Catholics, a brother and a sister oppose the cessation of treatment; on the other, his wife Rachel, his nephew François and five brothers and sisters want to put an end to this “therapeutic relentlessness”.

Read also: Vincent Lambert’s cessation of care, parents oppose it until the end

“It’s monsters”

“They are monsters! It’s Nazi! (…) They are trying to sedate him (…) It’s a crime, that’s all, “said Viviane Lambert, the mother of Vincent, 73, in front of the school, in tears.

A video of the patient was released Monday on the site of Valeurs actuelles , presented as dating from Sunday, where the mother is at the bedside of his son. Rachel Lambert’s lawyers plan to file a privacy complaint.

Video. François Lambert, Vincent Lambert’s nephew reacts to the video published by the parents:

This broadcast “is not respectful for the person of Vincent,” reacted his nephew François Lambert, in favor of stopping treatment, who says “pretty serene, impatient that it ends”.

To his lawyer M e Gerard Chemla, “instead of going to contemplation and serenity imposed mourning, we find ourselves again in a situation of judicial and media relentlessly.”

After the Bishops’ Conference of France, Pope Francis also took a stand. “Pray for those who live in a state of severe disability. Always protect life, God’s gift, from the beginning to the natural end. Do not give in to the culture of waste, “he wrote Monday on Twitter in different languages ​​without mentioning Vincent Lambert.


The parents, Viviane and Pierre, 90, believe that their son is disabled, and must be transferred to a specialised institution. They had organised Sunday a rally to denounce a “disguised euthanasia”.

“The coup continues, there is still time to stop this madness,” responded their lawyers, Jean Paillot and Jerome Triumph.

They intend to force France to apply the “provisional measures” of a UN body, the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which asked him to postpone the cessation of care, while waiting for a review of the file on the merits.

Pierre Lambert, Vincent Lambert's father, speaking to the media as he leaves the Sevastopol hospital in Reims on May 20, 2019, after the doctors started to deactivate the treatments now alive his son ..
Pierre Lambert, Vincent Lambert’s father, speaking to the media as he leaves the Sevastopol hospital in Reims on May 20, 2019, after the doctors started to deactivate the treatments now alive his son .. (© AFP / FRANCOIS NASCIMBENI)

“Under the law”

They put forward in particular the last report of experts mandated by the justice, made end 2018. They advanced in particular that the medical condition of Mr. Lambert “calls no emergency measure” and that “it exists in France structures that can accommodate it until its disappearance.

These same experts, however, asserted that his “irreversible chronic vegetative state” leaves him no longer “of possible access to consciousness.”

France insists that the conservatory measures recommended by the CRPD “are not binding” and puts forward the “right of the patient not to suffer unreasonable obstinacy”.

The interruption of treatment, the fourth since 2013, was validated by the Council of State at the end of April and parents have multiplied in vain since.

Father of the law governing 2016 end of life, Jean Leonetti, also first vice-president LR, believes instead that the termination of care of Vincent Lambert fits well “within the framework of the law.” Vincent Lambert did not leave any advance directives. His wife and nephew say that this former nurse had taken a stand against any relentless treatment.

Read also: Vincent Lambert’s parents implore Emmanuel Macron to maintain treatments

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