By Alex Schadenberg, International Chair – Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
On June 24, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ordered France to continue providing food and water to Vincent Lambert, a man who was injured in a motorbike accident in 2008. The decision by the European Court of Human Rights came hours after a French court ordered that food and water be discontinued for Lambert.
Reuters News reported that:
“The court’s request is set to delay by months or even years the outcome of a legal battle where Lambert’s parents are resisting his wife Rachel’s attempts to withdraw life support.
“The Strasbourg-based court said in a statement the case would be treated ‘according to the fastest procedure possible.’ A spokesman there acknowledged that even emergency procedures can take months or up to one or two years.”
The Associated Press’s Lori Hinnant reported that Jean Paillot, a lawyer for Lambert’s parents, said
“He is not sick, he is not at the end of his life, he is not suffering,” Jean Paillot, a lawyer for Lambert’s parents, told BFM television. “From our perspective, there is no reason to stop feeding or hydrating him.”
To intentionally withdraw fluids from a person is a form of euthanasia by omission. The person will directly and intentionally die from dehydration and not from a medical condition.
It is not a natural death, it is not without suffering and it is not a dignified death.