Experience in France

Vincent Lambert Case

On Friday, 5 Jun 2015, the European Court of Human Rights voted to deny Vincent Lambert, 39, all food and water until he dies. The ECofHR was upholding a decision of a court in France to take Vincent off life support. Vincent Lambert had a motorcycle accident 7 years previously which left him tetraplegic.

The case was taken to the European court last year after France's highest court had ruled in favour of ending his life support.

With this decision in the case of Lambert v. France the Court has de facto authorised not only euthanasia for a person who has clearly asked for it (this is the typical hypothesis that is used to justify euthanasia...) but the killing of a completely helpless tetraplegic person who has never expressed any clear will in this regard.

Vincent was not a "vegetable". He was truly alive. Vincent was severely handicapped. Even before this ruling Vincent was not being properly treated in Reims, where he lied in a bed, locked inside his room. He is denied the right to basic physiotherapy and the access to a wheelchair in order to go out of his room. However, in the same time, many specialized care homes were offering to take care of Vincent LAMBERT and are ready to welcome him, for instance in Strasbourg.

It was reported that his wife, Rachel Lambert, was in favour of turning off life support but that his parents were against it. It was they, his parents, who took the court to the ECofHR in Strasbourg.

Previous case of Vincent Humbert

You may remember the story of a French young man. Following a road accident, Vincent HUMBERT was declared quadriplegic, blind and mute. He addressed a letter to the President of the Republic to claim the “right to die”. His mother and his doctor killed him by a lethal injection. After this case, Jean LEONETTI, member of the French Parliament, drafted a bill on end-of-life issues, voted by the Parliament in 2005.

However, Hervé MESSAGER was Vincent HUMBERT’s physiotherapist and, as a consequence, he was taking care of him each day. Hervé MESSAGER denounced the lies and manipulation of those advocating for euthanasia. Vincent HUMBERT was not quadriplegic nor blind. Yes, Vincent HUMBERT and his physiotherapist were joking together, even laughing. Vincent was not suffering. Yes, Vincent HUMBERT was made to say he wanted to die but it was not true.

Hervé MESSAGER, Vincent HUMBERT’s physiotherapist, immediately joined the signatories of the friends of Vincent Lambert in an effort to keep this 2nd young man alive.

His friends created a support committee on April 10th 2015. In ten days, they gathered more than 10.000 supporting signature. Because people who watch the video open their eyes and realize they have been manipulated. Vincent’s real condition has been hidden. When watching the video, people realize Vincent is not a “vegetable” artificially kept alive!

Among the first signatories there were medical doctors outraged by the fact that a doctor could cause his patient’s death by denying him food and water.