Mother of Frenchman caught in life support battle appeals to UN
July 01 2019 07:16 PM
Viviane Lambert
Viviane Lambert, the mother of Vincent Lambert who is in a vegetative state since 2008, speaks during an event on the sideline of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva

AFP/Geneva

The mother of a Frenchman in a vegetative state for over a decade pleaded for UN help Monday to stop her son's "murder", after a court ruled his life-support could be halted.
"I beg you, help us," Viviane Lambert told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
"Without your intervention, my son, Vincent Lambert, will be euthanised because of his mental handicap," she said.
Vincent Lambert, 42, has been in a vegetative state since a 2008 traffic accident, but the question of whether to continue keeping him alive artificially has bitterly divided his family and the nation.
"Vincent is not a vegetable," his mother insisted before the UN's top rights body.
Earlier Monday, speaking at a small event organised by the European Centre for Law and Justice, Lambert maintained that removing her son's feeding tube would amount to "murder".
In May, a UN committee on disabled rights, based in Geneva, asked France to keep Lambert alive while it conducted its own investigation into his fate. But the French government rejected that request as non-binding.
"I beg you to intervene with France and remind it of its obligation to not let my son die," Lambert told the rights council.
The case has taken the warring Lambert family to the top courts in France and Europe, with Lambert's parents, who are devout Catholics, fighting a six-year legal battle to maintain his treatment. 
His wife, along with doctors, six of his siblings and a nephew had hoped Friday's decision in the "right-to-die" case would end the legal battle once and for all.
The Cour de Cassation, France's highest appeals court, ruled that the life support mechanisms keeping the severely brain-damaged man alive could be turned off "from now on".
Friday's ruling reversed a decision by another Paris court ordering that Lambert's feeding tubes be reinserted, just hours after doctors began switching off life support following a previous court ruling.
The Cour de Cassation did not consider the arguments for or against keeping Lambert alive, but only the question of whether the lower court was competent to rule on the case.
In Friday's decision, it found that the appeal court was not competent in a ruling that is final. 
The case has rekindled a charged debate over France's right-to-die laws, which allow so-called "passive" euthanasia for severely ill or injured patients with no chance of recovery.



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