Share

Frenchman in vegetative state kept alive after appeal to UN

Share

PARIS (AP) — A last-ditch appeal to the United Nations forced French doctors to resume life support Tuesday for a man who has been in a vegetative state for years and whose case has drawn attention across Europe.

Vincent Lambert was critically injured in a 2008 car accident, and his parents and wife disagree on whether to keep him alive artificially. After years of legal battles, a team of doctors decided last year to stop giving him food and liquids and allow him to be sedated until death. Doctors stopped feeding him on Monday.

But his parents appealed to the U.N. Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, arguing the 42-year-old should be treated as disabled.

And in a surprise twist just hours after his feedings were halted, a Paris court ordered a freeze on previous rulings while the U.N. committee considers the case. That process could take years.

Doctors resumed feedings Tuesday, the parents’ lawyer told French media at the hospital in Reims east of Paris. The parents want Lambert transferred to facility for the disabled instead.

Trending:
Former NYPD Chief Calls Big Brian Laundrie Development 'Very Strange,' Suggests 'Something Is Amiss'

The Lambert case has provoked national soul-searching over how to deal with terminally ill patients, and has drawn attention around Europe.

It was central to the debate leading up to France’s 2016 law on terminally ill patients. The law allows doctors to stop life-sustaining treatments, including artificial hydration and nutrition, and to keep them sedated until death. It stops short, however, of legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide.

The European Court of Human Rights and France’s top administrative body had upheld the doctors’ earlier decision to stop Lambert’s life support, with the court finding the move did not violate Lambert’s rights.

Commenting on the case Tuesday, two top Vatican officials issued a joint statement saying that the provision of food and water to the sick was an “inescapable duty.”

“Suspending such care represents a form of abandonment, based on a pitiless judgment about the quality of life and an expression of a throwaway culture that selects the most fragile and defenseless people, without recognizing their individual, immense value,” said Cardinal Kevin Farrell, in charge of Catholic laity, and the Vatican’s top bioethics official, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia.

___

Nicole Winfield in Rome contributed.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



loading

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
Share
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




loading

Conversation