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Vincent Lambert

July 4, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – “I would so much like to be with him when he breathes his last breath…” Viviane Lambert, has fought tirelessly for six years for the life of her son, but since Tuesday evening, July 2, she has also been preparing for his death. The tetraplegic and brain-damaged 42-year-old man has been deprived of food and water since Tuesday evening in order to make him die.

France has refused to react to the United Nations Committee for the Rights of Disabled Persons’ (CRDP) repeated demands in view of provisional measures that would give it time to assess Lambert’s case by suspending all irreversible acts – of which the deliberate deprivation of food and fluids are the most irreversible of all.

The CRDP reiterated its request to France for the third time this Wednesday, but to no avail.

Together with her husband, Viviane was by Vincent Lambert’s side in the hospital room in Reims where he has been locked away for six years, Tuesday evening and on Wednesday. During the coming days, things will be even more difficult than usual. Vincent’s legal guardian, his wife Rachel, has drawn up a strict schedule, fixing the times of day and night when different family members will be allowed to visit him to say goodbye. Viviane fears that her son may die alone.

During a lengthy phone call on Wednesday evening, Viviane, spoke to LifeSiteNews about her son’s situation. 

“Last night was horrible. I felt I couldn't stand it any longer. Today I feel better: I went to see my doctor and cried a lot. I'm trying to put things in perspective: I tell myself that Vincent will be with the good Lord. But he is unhappy… He was looking at us, we could see he is suffering. Is he suffering from not having drunk anything? He hasn't had anything to eat today.”

How could Vincent Lambert be looking at his mother more than 24 hours after his feeding tube was pulled, when the end-of-life protocol he is so eagerly being put through requires deep sedation? That is the procedure described by the so-called Leonetti law which organizes death by dehydration for severely ill persons or people incapable of expressing their will who have left advance directives. Deep sedation is what was given Vincent on May 20 at the beginning of the previous attempt to make him die through lack of fluids and food.

 Things appear to be going very differently this time.

“They said they gave him very mild sedation,” Viviane Lambert told LifeSiteNews. She added that one of the doctors specialized in the care of brain-damaged, minimally conscious patients who has supported Pierre and Viviane Lambert’s battle for the last six years told her there is no such thing: a patient is either sedated, or he is not.

It appears that Vincent Lambert is being dehydrated to death while remaining sufficiently conscious for his mother to perceive his reactions and to see him looking at her. She says requests for information from the doctor who initiated the death procedure, Vincent Sanchez, are often met with the response: “I can’t answer that.”

David Lambert, Vincent’s brother and one of his four family members were fighting for his life, was told that the procedure could last from two days to one month, said Viviane. It seems the doctor does not want to “go too fast” and wants to avoid Vincent having “epileptic seizures.” One can only imagine the stress this protracted and deliberate death process can cause to Vincent's loved ones.

Viviane told LifeSite about the “sadness” in her son's eyes since yesterday evening. “It was as if he were drowning – and they’re pushing him under water,” she said.

“We do what we can to reassure him, telling him that we love him,” she added. As a convinced practicing Catholic, Viviane, who seemed astonishingly serene after a very difficult day Tuesday, was happy to share that she has been able to pray at her son's bedside. He has received the last sacraments, she said, thanks to the Bishop of Reims who sent a chaplain for the last rites, but his family was not present.

“I trust the good Lord, really. Really, we are not alone, and that's what helped us fight too. People ask me how I can hold on. Yes, it's my faith, and also, he's my son. He is the flesh of my flesh. But we are supported by so many people, by Holy Masses, sacrifices and fasting: Vincent surely has the potential to go to heaven! It's not that I'm clinging to his life. It would have been a relief if he had departed naturally. But it is he who is clinging to life, and all the while it's as if his head is being pushed under water. It’s unacceptable. They’re burying Hippocrates,” she said.

The Reims university hospital where Vincent Lambert is being put to death is under heavy protection, with vigils checking visitors’ identities both in and outside the building, while all cars entering within the hospital enclosure are also being screened.

The Lambert’s lawyers have not given up their fight and are still aiming to obtain the implementation of the United Nation’s request for provisional measures.

Contact information for respectful communications: 

Reims Hospital
CHU Reims, 48 rue de Sébastopol, 51100 Reims, France

Dr. Sanchez’ email address: [email protected]

French Health Ministry
Ministère des solidarités et de la santé 
14 avenue Duquesne, 75007 Paris, France 
Ph: + 31 1 40 56 60 00.