Monday, April 23, 2018

Vincent Lambert given temporary clemency from death by dehydration.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Vincent Lambert with his mother.
According to Figero news Viviane Lambert, the mother of Vincent Lambert was informed on April 9, that her son would die a slow and agonizing death by dehydration, also known as euthanasia by dehydration.

Today Francetvinfo reported that Vincent Lambert will not die by dehydration, at this time, as the court approved a complete assessment of his condition by three qualified doctors. According to Francetvinfo (google translated):

A new expertise is ordered by the Administrative Court of Châlons-en-Champagne in order to be able to pronounce "definitively" on the stop of the treatments decided by the University Hospital Center of Reims. 
.. A college of three qualified doctors "in neurology, physical medicine and rehabilitation" will be appointed soon by the court. He will then have one month to draw up the real state of health.
Vincent Lambert was cognitively disabled in a motorcycle accident injury in 2008. In 2015, his wife petitioned the court to have all treatment and care ceased including food and water. His parents urged that their son be transferred to a rehabilitation center.

To intentionally kill a person by withdrawing fluids, when the person is not otherwise dying is euthanasia by dehydration since the person is directly and intentionally killed by dehydration.


Dolorosa said...

Thank God for his good parents as they would not let their son die in such an painful manner.

Morten Horn said...

Again, I have to vent my frustration that this very important website is conflating withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment with assisted death.
There is a fundamental difference between stopping or abstaining from the use of medical treatment that is deemed futile (or the offer is rejected by the competent patient), and interventions that are actively, directly aimed and fashioned so as to produce the death of the patient.

There is in medicine no obligation to keep alive at any cost, with any means, for any length of time. That is a charicature of medicine. Medicine is about offering meaningful treatment primarily to patients who desire it, or to incompetent patients who would be likely to accept if they were able to.
Foregoing life-sustaining treatment is an ordinary, integrated and necessary part of medicine - necessary if one is to avoid that medical interventions cause harm because of a lack of stop mechanism.

Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide are acts that are foreign to the delivery of medicine. They consist of utilizing the methods and equipment available to the doctor in order to produce something that doctors haven't done, should not do: Killing the patient, or helping the patient kill himself. Assisted death has no place in medicine unless one actively chooses to insert it there, and experience shows that if so placed it can cause great harm to vulnerable patients.

There is no medical reason to believe that patients in a state of unresponsive wakefulness/permanent vegetative state will experience pain or other suffering if they are allowed to die by removal of artificial hydration/nutrition (non-maleficence). There is no medical reason to believe that one is doing good (beneficence) by actively keeping these patients alive for several years. It is very hard to believe that there are people who would really, really, want to be kept alive if they were in a permanent vegetative state, if they really knew what this state is about (autonomy). And it is not fair to these patients to keep them alive, indefinitely, just because they lack the ability to reject treatment themselves (justice).

I hope you can develop your views on this issue. Fighting for these patients to be kept alive at all costs is providing ammunition to the assisted death proponents.

Alex Schadenberg said...

I am sorry but you are wrong. To withdraw fluids from someone who is not otherwise dying is to intentionally kill someone by dehydration. Modern bioethics has falsely redefined fluids and food and treatment when in fact they are basic care.

Withdrawing fluids from someone who is not otherwise dying is not the same as withdrawing a ventilator, or saying no to chemotherapy or other forms of medical treatment.

When fluids are withdrawn, the only result is the intentional death by dehydration.

Fluids only become futile when the body is shutting down. At that point there is no point in providing fluids and natural death will soon occur.

There is a clear difference between killing and letting die, but to withdraw fluids from someone who is not otherwise dying is to kill the person by slow euthanasia.

Betty said...

Well said Alex!