Skip to content
Deacon Keith Fournier Hi reader, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Vincent Lambert dies after removal of food and water

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

By (CNA/EWTN)
7/11/2019 (3 months ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

Vincent Lambert, a 42 year-old quadriplegic man, died in a French hospital Thursday morning, 9 days after doctors withdrew his food and water.

Highlights

By (CNA/EWTN)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
7/11/2019 (3 months ago)

Published in Europe


Reims, France, (CNA) - "Vincent died at 8:24 this morning," Lambert's nephew, Francois Lambert, told AFP News Agency.

Lambert died July 11 at University Hospital in the northern French city of Reims, where doctors had withdrawn his water and feeding tubes more than one week before. Lambert had been under what his doctors called "profound and continuous sedation" since then.

The Vatican issued a statement Thursday, noting sadness over the news of Lambert's death.

"We pray that the Lord will welcome him into his house and we express closeness to his loved ones and to those who, up to the last, have committed themselves to assist him with love and dedication," said Alessandro Gisotti, interim director of the Holy See press office.

Gisotti also recalled the April 2018 words of Pope Francis, when in reference to Lambert's case, he said: "God is the only master of life from the beginning to the natural end and it is our duty to always guard it and not yield to the culture of waste."

Vincent Lambert was a quadriplegic and severely disabled for more than 10 years, after he sustained severe head injuries in a 2008 traffic accident.

After the accident, Lambert became the center of a protracted court battle over whether to have his food and hydration removed. Lambert's wife and six of his eight siblings supported the removal of life support, while his parents, reported to be devout Catholics, fought against it. His wife said Lambert had told her he would not want to be kept alive if in a "vegetative state," but this was never put in writing.

Several media outlets reported that Lambert "wept" when his family informed him of the doctors' intentions to remove food and water last week.

"It's murder in disguise, it's euthanasia," Lambert's father told French media Monday.

Euthanasia is illegal in France. However, a 2005 law allows physicians to refrain from using "disproportionate" treatments "with no other effect than maintaining life artificially."

In 2015, the European Court of Human Rights approved the removal of Lambert's life support, arguing in a 12-5 decision that the choice to stop his intravenous feeding did not violate European rights laws.

On June 28, The Court of Cassation ruled that a lower court did not have the legal competence to order his feeding tubes be reinserted. On July 2, doctors informed Lambert's family via email that they would withdraw food and water.

Archbishop of Paris, Michel Aupetit, has consistently advocated for Lambert and his family. He wrote a letter July 9 asking the priests of his archdiocese to offer Mass for Lambert.

"Dear brothers," he wrote, "it is now the time for contemplation, for compassion, and for prayer for Mr. Vincent Lambert. Either today or tomorrow I suggest that you celebrate Mass for his intention and entrusting him to the Lord, the God of mercy. This intention can also be extended to all of his relatives."

Also on July 9, Pope Francis tweeted a prayer in apparent reference to Lambert's case.

"We pray for the sick who are abandoned and left to die," the pope wrote. "A society is human if it protects life, every life, from its beginning to its natural end, with which is worthy to live or who is not."

"Doctors should serve life, not take it away."

This story was updated with the Vatican statement.


Comments


More Europe

Polish bishops open beatification process for parents of St John Paul II Watch

Image of John Paul II's father, Karol Wojtyla, and mother, Emilia nee Kaczorowska

The Polish bishops' conference has agreed to begin the canonization process for the parents of Saint John Paul II. Krakow, Poland, (CNA) - ... continue reading


Disabled woman who narrowly avoided forced abortion to get forced contraception Watch

Image of Royal Courts of Justice London

A judge in England has decided that a disabled woman who is pregnant will be fitted with a contraceptive device immediately following her ... continue reading



'Useless to pretend': Vatican official dismisses German 'binding synodal path' Watch

Image of German bishop

A senior legal official in the Vatican has dismissed the idea that a planned "synodal process" in Germany will be "binding," noting that ... continue reading


English bishop: Remove stigma surrounding mental health care Watch

Image of Sad person

On October 10, observed internationally as World Mental Health Day, Bishop Richard Moth of Arundel and Brighton said that society should ... continue reading


Vatican: Pope Francis 'never said' what Scalfari reported about divinity of Jesus Christ Watch

Image of Briefing about Amazon synod at Holy See Press Paolo Ruffini

A Vatican spokesman directly denied on Thursday the report of an Italian journalist who wrote that Pope Francis said he did not believe ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

FREE Catholic Classes Pick a class, you can learn anything

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.