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Cardinal Sarah laments death of ‘martyr’ Vincent Lambert, a victim of euthanasia

July 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Vincent Lambert, the disabled Frenchman who died early this morning after being starved to death, “died as a martyr, a victim of the frightful madness of the men of our time,” Cardinal Robert Sarah tweeted. 

Doctors stopped providing Lambert, a former nurse, with nutrition and hydration after a years-long legal battle that pitted his devout Catholic parents against Lambert’s wife and the powers of the French state. 

“On this sad day, I pray for the eternal repose of the soul of Vincent Lambert,” tweeted Cardinal Sarah, “who died as a martyr, a victim of the frightful madness of the men of our time. I pray for his family and especially for his parents, so brave, so worthy. Do not be afraid. God watches.”

Sarah, who is from Guinea, is the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

In his book The Day is Long Spent, which is due to be published in English this September by Ignatius Press, Cardinal Sarah writes, “Europe seems programmed for self-destruction.” The problem that he sees is that the West “seems to hate itself,” while the Catholic Church appears to be in the midst of internal apostasy.

Doctors claimed that Lambert had suffered irreversible brain damage following a near-fatal automobile collision in 2008 that also rendered him a quadriplegic. Video of Lambert showed him to be alive and reacting to interactions with his family.

“In May, when learning about his planned death, he cried,” according to his mother Viviane.

As she was fighting to keep her son from being starved to death, his mother explained, “He sleeps at night, wakes up during the day, and looks at me when I talk,” according to Reuters. “He only needs to be fed through a special device and his doctor wants to deprive him of this so that he can die, while legal experts have shown that this is not necessary.”

In May, she said, “Vincent is doing well. He's not at the end of his life. He only needs something to drink and to eat and some love.”

Lambert previously survived 31 days without food and only 500 mL of water per day before a court ordered the hospital to resume feeding him.

On July 2, doctors began denying the stricken man food and water after a ruling by a high French appeals court that his feeding tubes could be removed. 

Lambert’s wife Rachel wrote a book, Parce que je l'aime, je veux le laisser partir (“Because I love him, I want to let him go”), in which she sought to justify his passive euthanasia.

Pro-life advocates often note that in many jurisdictions, starving and dehydrating a pet animal is a crime.

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