French magistrate urges ending life support for vegetative patient

June 20, 2014

The public rapporteur of France's top court has recommended ending the life support of a 39-year-old in a vegetative state for the last six years, overriding the wishes of some close relatives.

The State Council is to rule on Tuesday in the case of Vincent Lambert, who has been in a since a in 2008.

The question of whether he should be kept alive artificially has split his family and sparked a huge debate in France.

But ahead of the court's decision its public rapporteur Remi Keller, a state magistrate charged with laying out the case, said there was no hope of recovery.

"The food and hydration being provided to Vincent Lambert are having no other effect than to keep him artificially in his current state," Keller said.

Doctors treating Lambert, as well as his wife, want to cut off intravenous food and water supplies but his deeply religious Catholic parents and other family members oppose the decision and took the matter to court.

A court in Chalons-en-Champagne near Reims ruled against ending his life earlier this year and the case was brought to the State Council on appeal.

A 2005 law in France legalised passive euthanasia, where a person causes death by withholding or withdrawing treatment that is necessary to maintain life.

Explore further: French court rules out euthanasia for quadriplegic

Related Stories

French court rules out euthanasia for quadriplegic

January 16, 2014
A French court Thursday ruled against ending the life of a 38-year-old quadriplegic who has been in a vegetative state for years and whose family have been divided about his fate.

Family decides when to cut off life support: Canada court (Update)

October 18, 2013
Family, not doctors, should decide when to cut off life support, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled Friday in the case of a severely-brain damaged man.

Some families would consider terminal sedation for kin in a permanent vegetative state

January 15, 2014
The families of some very severely brain injured patients believe that once all treatment options are exhausted, allowing their relatives to die with the help of terminal sedation would be a humane and compassionate option, ...

Court sends abortion drug case back to Okla. court

June 27, 2013
(AP)—The Supreme Court is sending back to state court a case about an Oklahoma anti-abortion law that bans off-label use of certain abortion-inducing drugs.

English court in landmark right-to-die ruling

September 28, 2011
An English judge ruled on Wednesday that a brain-damaged, minimally conscious woman should not be allowed to die, in a landmark case about the right to life-supporting treatment.

Recommended for you

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

Team eradicates hepatitis C in 10 patients following lifesaving transplants from infected donors

April 30, 2017
Ten patients at Penn Medicine have been cured of the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) following lifesaving kidney transplants from deceased donors who were infected with the disease. The findings point to new strategies for increasing ...

'bench to bedside to bench': Scientists call for closer basic-clinical collaborations

March 24, 2017
In the era of genome sequencing, it's time to update the old "bench-to-bedside" shorthand for how basic research discoveries inform clinical practice, researchers from The Jackson Laboratory (JAX), National Human Genome Research ...

The ethics of tracking athletes' biometric data

January 18, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—Whether it is a FitBit or a heart rate monitor, biometric technologies have become household devices. Professional sports leagues use some of the most technologically advanced biodata tracking systems to ...

Financial ties between researchers and drug industry linked to positive trial results

January 18, 2017
Financial ties between researchers and companies that make the drugs they are studying are independently associated with positive trial results, suggesting bias in the evidence base, concludes a study published by The BMJ ...

Best of Last Year – The top Medical Xpress articles of 2016

December 23, 2016
(Medical Xpress)—It was a big year for research involving overall health issues, starting with a team led by researchers at the UNC School of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health who unearthed more evidence that ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.