As the U.K. prepares to debate The Assisted Murder Bill, and Belgium prepares to lower the age of consent (as well as allowing a beautiful 21 year old depressive to end her life) I beg anyone of you reading this who believes in the dignity of human life, to make your feelings known either to your MP, or (outside the UK) elected representative. Alternatively sign the petition at http://notoassistedsuicide.org.uk/
If you subscribe to Facebook – then please ‘like’ No To Assisted Suicide’s page: https://www.facebook.com/notoassistedsuicide.
“I do not want my son deleted, I do not want him to be abandoned,” declared Viviane Lambert (in the middle of the picture), mother of Vincent, when her book was published on May 7th last, Pour la vie de mon fils [For my son’s life] (Pilon). Vincent Lambert was in a car accident in 2008 and fell into a coma in the aftermath. “There are times when he is asleep, of course. But we are still both experiencing moments of very powerful communication,” his mother explained to Metronews. “I talk to him, I play him music he likes. I know he understands me. Besides, when I show photos of Vincent to people who don’t know him, they are surprised, they expect him to be attached to every sort of machine. I tell them, “No, my son is not a member of the living dead.”
On June 5, 2015, the European Human Rights Tribunal (EHRT) declared itself in favour of putting a stop to the care given to Vincent Lambert. Jean-Marie Le Mene, president of the Jerome Lejeune Foundation and member of the committee of support for Vincent Lambert, reacted: “The combat for Vincent Lambert goes on. This decision of the EHRT does not condemn Vincent to death. Another decision can be taken. Everything depends on the CHU at the moment. Because of the departure of Dr. Eric Kariger from the hospital, the procedure of stopping the supply of nutrition and hydration to Vincent Lambert is in fact at a halt since it is not required of the new doctor who succeeded him.”
The decision of the EHRT was followed by the public release of a first video on June 10th by the Committee for the support of Vincent Lambert. The video shows him listening to his mother on the phone and follow his brother with his eyes as he speaks to him. “Vincent is not on any machines, he is not artificially maintained in life. He only needs one thing: to be fed,” states the website “Je soutiens Vincent” [I support Vincent].
In a news release published June 18th, the Superior Council of the Audiovisual (CSA) announced that it had decfided to address a caution to BFMTV, LCI, M6 and TF1 after these TV stations broadcast images of Vincent Lambert in the hospital. The CSA believes this broadcast “without prior consent and without blurring of the face constitutes an attack on the intimacy of his private life and image.” And even though Canal+, France 2, France 3 and ITele had blurred Vincent Lambert’s face, the Council also sent them a message to remind them that “the publication of such images without prior consent was likely to negatively impact the intimacy of private life.”
On June 25, 2015, neurology professor Xavier Ducrocq and Dr. Bernard Jeanblanc, head of a care unit for patients in comatose states, gave a press conference in the course of which a second video was released before the journlists. In this video Vincent Lambert’s mother feeds him with spoonfuls of applesauce, showing her son swallowing it and enjoying it.
The next day, June 26th, lawyers Jean Paillot and Jerome Triomphe, legal representatives of the parents of Vincent Lambert, announced that they had filed a request with the EHRT to review the decision taken on June 5th last. Indeed, “new and decisive elements have come into play” and bring back into question the court order to halt the supply of nutrition and hydration pronounced by the judges. To the improvements showed in the video can be added an error of the Court which refers to a 2004 decision to halt hydration and nutrition, claiming that it constituted a non-violation of the rights of man. But this order stipulated the contrary. The lawyers therefore called for a review of the “reasoning in the wake of this error” and announced that they would also challenge the State Council.
On July 6, the EHRT refused to review its decision of June 5 in favour of putting an end to the care of Vincent Lambert. “It makes you weep,” was M. Paillot’s reaction. But the Court “does not want to change decisions, it does not want to lose face.” “We will turn to other institutions, we have other recourses that we are about to take,” the lawyer for Vincent’s parents said. He referred to the possibility of turning again to the French justice system to complain that a new request to have Vincent Lambert transferred to a specialized establishment for comatose patients was not granted. “This affair is not over; if the Court thinks it can silence us, they are completely wrong.”
On July 8, we were informed that all members of the family of Vincent Lambert, very divided among themselves on the firm’s survival, were summoned to the University Hospital of Reims, July 15, “for a decision to stop treatment “but also to” seek the views of everyone on this new procedure. “According to the website of L’Observateur, Vincent’s parents are hoping that this “new procedure” will focus on the establishment of a collegiate procedure seeking to determine the patient’s will, giving voice to all members of his family.
(Sources: metronews – Fondation Lejeune – Reinformation TV – CSA – AFP – Figaro – DICI no. 318, 10/07/15)