The French tetrapléjico Vincent Lambert, in a vegetative state for more than a decade, has died Thursday, according to French media reports. It happens nine days after the medical team of the Reims hospital initiated the protocol to remove the artificial feeding and hydration.
His case had become in France a symbol of the debate around the dignified death and kept facing his own family: his parents, fervent Catholics, have fought to keep his treatment, and his wife and legal guardian, Rachel Lambert, it was contrary to therapeutic cruelty.
After years of judicial battle before the absence of vital testament that reflected its will, the parents, Viviane and Pierre, had accepted this Monday its death as something inevitable and announced that they were not going to present new resources.
The man suffered a traffic accident in 2008 that left him quadriplegic and totally dependent. In 2011, the doctors ruled out any possibility of improvement, and in 2014 their condition was classified as vegetative. At this time, the hospital had obtained three times the authorization to stop the treatment, but could not apply it for the parents' legal action.
The case had divided his family – another brother was also in favor of not disconnecting him, and six other brothers and a nephew supported his wife – and all of France in the debate about dignified death. The last time he initiated the protocol to let him die was last May, but the Court of Appeal, which the parents appealed, stopped that process with a sentence that Friday was invalidated by the Supreme Court.
That day, the defense of the parents threatened to denounce the doctor of his son, Vincent Sanchez, for "murder with premeditation" in case he activated the process, and this Monday the mother sent a "call for help" in the Council of Human Rights of the UN in Geneva to avoid the application of "euthanasia for their cerebral disability".
In this last process, his parents had finally resigned to present new judicial remedies to keep him alive after having presented two emergency procedures that were rejected. "His death is inevitable. It has been imposed on both him and us. Although we do not accept it, we can only resign ourselves, "they said in a statement.
(tagsToTranslate) tetraplegic (t) vegetative (t) Vincent (t) Lambert (t) deceased