France begins starvation of Vincent Lambert as 11th-hour appeals to save him fail
May 20, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Vincent Lambert, France’s Terri Schiavo, was placed in an “end-of-life” process early on Monday morning, May 20, in defiance of the repeated request of the U.N.’s Committee for the Rights of Disabled Persons (CRPD), and of natural law that prohibits the deliberate killing of a human being. His hydration and feeding tube was pulled, and he was given deep sedation that is legally required to be maintained until death.
Vincent Lambert is expected to die — primarily of thirst — within a few days.
The procedure was initiated by Dr Vincent Sanchez of the University Hospital of Reims, contrary to his commitment, without warning his family. Vincent’s mother, Viviane, was not even given the chance to say goodbye to her son, for whose life she has been fighting since the first unsuccessful attempt to make him die by starvation in April 2013.
She saw Vincent for the last time on Sunday evening, following a public demonstration in front of the Reims hospital asking Dr Sanchez to stay execution and to respect the CRPD.
An emotional video of that last encounter was broadcast on the internet: it shows Vincent crying while his mother tells him how little hope was left.
All last-minute attempts to save Vincent failed, including a public letter from Viviane Lambert to President Emmanuel Macron and a massive phoning campaign to the Elysée, the présidential palace.
On May 18, Bishop Pierre d’Ornellas and other bishops and religious specialists of ethical issues published a mixed statement regretting that Vincent Lambert should be deprived of water and food but at the same time suggesting that the doctors who wanted to apply the procedure should “explain” their position better.
They wrote: “From an ethical point of view, it would be good if the conscience of citizens were not disturbed either by the unexplained decision suggesting that Mr. Vincent Lambert was led to his death, or by the failure to respect the word given by the State in signing the International Convention.”
On this Monday morning, Jean Paillot and Jérôme Triomphe filed two criminal complaints for “non-assistance to a person in danger,” asking substantial damages from Dr Sanchez and the hospital director.
But even if this should lead to a reversal of the process, a big question remains: what sort of sedation was given to Vincent, and can its effects be reversed?
The John Paul II Academy for Human Life and Family is holding its second public event in Rome on the theme of “Brain Death.” All the participants prayed for Vincent Lambert and his family.