By Alex Schadenberg, International Chair - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
A French court decided, yesterday, that Vincent Lambert could continue to live. The court decision supported the position of Lambert's parents, was that Lambert would continue to receive food and water. Lambert's wife wanted feeding to cease which would cause him to die by dehydration.
On June 5, 2015; the European Court of Human Rights decided that Vincent Lambert, a cognitively disabled man, could have his food and water withdrawn causing his death by dehydration. Lambert's parent's appealed the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights.
Lambert has been living with a significant cognitive disability since his motorcyle accident in 2008.
According to the RFI news, the judges said:
Lambert's doctors were within their rights, based on their "professional and moral independence," to suspend an earlier court decision that would have seen them cut the intravenous food and water keeping him alive.
...the decision to stop intravenous feeding can be undertaken "solely by the doctor in charge of care." The hospital may not oppose it.
The judges also ruled that the previous medical decision could not be imposed on a new doctor.
This judgement throws the burden of responsibility back on to the doctor,
To intentionally withdraw fluids from a person who is not otherwise dying is a form of euthanasia by omission because the person directly and intentionally dies from dehydration and not from a medical condition.