Monday, May 20, 2019

Vincent Lambert is saved from death by dehydration for now

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Sign the petition: Protect Vincent Lambert's Life (Link).

Vincent Lambert
The case of Vincent Lambert has become an emotional roller coaster as one court orders him to be dehydrated to death while another court orders food and water to continue.

Two weeks ago the United Nations Committee on the Rights of People with Disabilities intervened stating that causing Lambert's death by dehydration contravened his rights as a person with disabilities. Section 25f of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities  requires nations to:
25(f) Prevent discriminatory denial of health care or health services or food and fluids on the basis of disability.
Euro news reported, on May 20, that doctors, at a hospital in Reims France, were deeply sedating Lambert as part of the process to withdraw fluids and food, causing him to die by dehydration, as approved by a court order.

Vincent Lambert with his mother
Later, that day, Euro news reported that the Court of Appeal in Paris ordered that Lambert be fed and hydrated. The decision was in response to the UN Disability Rights Commission appeal. BBC news reported Lambert's mother as stating:

"They are going to restore nutrition and give him drink. For once I am proud of the courts," she said.
The Lambert case has been winding through the French and European courts for several years.

Lambert was cognitively disabled from a motorcycle accident in 2008. In 2015, his wife petitioned the court to have treatment and care ceased including food and water. His parents wanted that their son transferred to a rehabilitation center. The legal battle concerning withdrawing water and food has continued.

Lambert is a disabled man who is not otherwise dying or nearing death. To directly and intentionally cause his death by withholding fluids is euthanasia by dehydration because he is not otherwise dying. His death would not be from his medical condition but rather, he would die by dehydration, a terrible death.

Sign the petition: Protect Vincent Lambert's Life (Link). 


Suzanne J. said...

Some loving 'wife'! This man is still, very much 'alive', even though his 'cognitive' abilities have been damaged. Thank God that his mother is still alive and well -- that she is willing and able to fight in the Courts, on his behalf! And, thanks be to God that the mother actually WON! To deliberately be 'STARVED' and DYING OF 'UNRELIEVED THIRST', while 'in care' in a Hospital is CRUEL BEYOND ALL MEASURE!

Nancy said...

Thank you, Suzanne J., for your comment and for thanking God, who is capable of miracles. And thank you to Vincent's parents for caring for Vincent, which could help countless others too, including those unjustly being starved and dehydrated to death who are, & who are not, handicapped! And, as always, thank you to Alex Schadenberg!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for recognizing that doctors do this, especially in HOSPICE settings, they will ensure the person dies, as no food or drinks are given. Most people do not know this. as for organ donations, please be aware, you should have a spokes person for you, if you ever get sick. Not everyone wants to die and it's your choice not the medical personnel.
Donna C.

Nancy said...

Thank you very much for SPEAKING UP, Dear Anonymous Donna C.! Thou Shall Not Kill People !

Lorna said...

When my mother had a stroke it left her paralyzed on the right hand side leaving her without speaking and not able to eat. They gave her intervenous for 3 weeks and said they could not continue with it because her veins would not accept the injection any longer. She literally starved to death which was horrible to see. This slow process lasted another 3 weeks until she died. Is this a form of euthanasia?


Alex Schadenberg said...

Dear Lorna:

I am sorry that your mother died over a three week period. This is very sad to witness and worse for the person experiencing the death. If her veins were actually unable to accept the IV then it is not a form of euthanasia. These are difficult questions that cannot be simply answered, but I will say that she should not have died over a three week period and I am really sorry that, that happened.

Nancy said...

Dear Lorna,
From your story, it sounds to me like the doctors knew and expected your mother to pass on if they with-held providing liquids, nourishment & other care from her. I wonder what stopped them from providing her with a feeding tube. I send you my condolences.
I took the following notes from the online Wikipedia definition of Euthanasia;

"Voluntary euthanasia is legal in some countries.
Non-voluntary euthanasia (patient's consent unavailable) is illegal in all countries.
Involuntary euthanasia (without asking consent or against the patient's will) is also illegal in all countries and is usually considered murder.

Voluntary, non-voluntary and involuntary types can be further divided into passive or active variants.[26] Passive euthanasia entails the withholding treatment necessary for the continuance of life."

Anonymous said...

This is in response to Anonymous on May 22nd. I am trained as a hospice nurse, and I DO NOT support euthanasia, passive or active, and I DO NOT support the shortening of any life.
I have never personally witnessed the withholding of fluids and/or nutrition unless it is causing suffering and pain, and if the withholding has been specified in a patient's Advanced Directive living will, such as no IV's, no gastric feeding tubes, no cardiopulmonary resuscitation etc. On some occasions, families desire intervention that the patient has explicitly stated they do not want, but such a decision is the patient's, unless they are unable to make such decisions. In which case, boards of ethics review individual cases.

When the patient wants more invasive therapies, they are encouraged to search for alternatives to a hospice program, which focuses on comfort care not curative care.

When a patient is unable to swallow, it may be shortly followed by a semi-comatose state when the body begins to shut down. The inability to swallow is often the body's mechanism to keep out food that can no longer be digested and fluids which can build up in the tissues and lungs and, in effect, drown the patient. A slightly dehydrated state also causes the body to release endorphins (the body's feel-good chemicals) which enhance comfort.

While I am sure that terrible abuses among care agencies can, and do, occur across the globe, I wanted to share my experience from a nursing perspective that does not condone euthanasia, abuse, or neglect. I feel privileged to provide the best care possible during such a transition.

Anonymous said...

Ask yourselves this.
Do YOU want to live for years and years in a room locked away somewhere "alive" but having ZERO quality of life?

This man's wife knows MORE about his wishes than anyone else, and I would assume she is acting according to his wishes.

No parent can offer opinions, as they most often have no idea what their kids want in life after they become adults, and learn their own beliefs.

I will not judge agendas on this, but will say this: Why are we not hearing about the COMPLETE story?

To say he ONLY needs food and water, is simply lying.

It appears to me, for what I can find, is he is bed ridden, cannot talk, or communicate in any way.
He is inches from brain death.
He has NO quality of life, and CANNOT express his wishes on his own.

His wife is best positioned to decide his life.

Would he WANT to live in a PRISON CELL the size of his own body? Knowing he will NEVER be able to do anything? Just lay there, watching the passing of time for years and years and years......

solitary confinement is deemed cruel and unusual punishment!
What do you believe THIS is?????

Nancy said...

Parents may be more aware of their adult childrens' needs than you realize. If you are not familiar with prayer & miracles, which can offer hope, along with music, going for outdoor walks to enjoy the fresh air, flowers, sunshine, children & ocean,etc., which can enrich our lives, then you might like to consider these things. People who have all their faculties may waste them by destroying their minds & bodies with drugs. They may waste their precious time on earth by being violent, supporting war, and being careless about destroying the environment.This man is peaceful, whether by choice or not. This man should be helping us learn to be more compassionate, & not to kill people, especially those who are not mentally capable of making the decision to die at that current time, and who are not making it one hundred percent clear that that is their current choice. Way too much "death which is not requested by the adult" has already occurred in the name of euthanasia!

Unknown said...

withholding the necessities of life is called NEGLIGENCE! and such persons should be charged.

BlairGirl said...

No wonder you're anonymous. I wouldn't want to put my name to that screed, either. Who are you to decide what someone else's "quality of life" is? Can you get inside his head to determine how happy he is?

The main point here is that this man isn't being kept alive by some artificial means. You're advocating the active effort of killing him. Any human being - including you - who is deprived of nutrition or hydration WILL die. You want to take advantage of his inability to speak to end his life, because you don't think his existence is worthwhile?

Talk about playing God!

Nancy said...