The stopping of artificial nutrition and hydration (AHA) of Vincent Lambert, a patient in a minimally conscious state for more than ten years, began on the morning of May 20, 2019, at the University Hospital of Reims. But following a final appeal, the Paris Court of Appeals, ordered the resumption of hydration and nutrition in the late evening May 20.
“It is a shame, an absolute scandal, that they have not even been able to kiss their son,” said AFP Jean Paillot, a lawyer for Vincent Lambert’s parents who are fighting against the stopping of the care of their son. Vincent Lambert does not suffer from any serious illness, and can breathe without assistance. It is the withdrawal of feeding tubes delivering the AHA that will cause his death very soon. Death will occur due to kidney failure and the dehydration of vital organs.
“It can take a long time to die from stopping AHA, if the rest of the body is still in good condition—at least several days, sometimes up to two full, long weeks,” said Véronique Fournier, President of the National Center for palliative and end-of-life care.
Death by white coats does not lack resources: any feeling of hunger or thirst are to be anticipated, the medical staff has the task of ensuring that the young man’s mouth is regularly hydrated, by moisturizing compresses or sticks.
The ultimate precaution of monitoring the situation using “a scale of sedation” in order to anticipate any sign of suffering was also put in place.
A temporary injunction needed to be filed May 20, 2019 before the Paris Court, to force France to adopt the recommendations of the International Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CIDPH). This UN body is calling for the continuation of care, pending a new examination of the facts of the case. A Lambert family lawyer was to file a direct summons complaint on the same day against Dr. Sanchez at the Reims Criminal Court.
But the prayers and sacrifices were heard by the one who is the Salvation of the disabled: at 10:50 p.m., we learned that the Paris Court of Appeals ordered the resumption of hydration and nutrition.
The Paris Court of Appeals responded favorably to the parents’ request. They had lodged an appeal to enforce the recommendations of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which called for a stay of cessation of care pending a review of the merits of the case. The appeals court said it “orders” Vincent Lambert’s “maintenance and hydration” until the UN committee decides on the merits of his case.