As was expected, after years of legal battles, in the Sébastopol hospital in Reims the procedures to stop the treatment of Vincent Lambert were started.

This is so as to accompany this 42-year-old quadriplegic, already a psychiatric nurse, involved in his death in a car accident in September 2008 and since then unconscious and artificially kept alive.

Vincent Lambert in his hospital bed

The two elderly parents (Vivienne 73, Pierre 90), fervent Catholics, who until the end tried to oppose him with appeals, protested in front of the hospital against the decision taken by Vincent Sanchez, the doctor who takes care of their child. “They are killing him: it is a disguised euthanasia,” said the mother, who today reiterated. “They are killing him without telling us anything, they are monsters”. For her, on the other hand, her son has encouraging reactions, “he turns his head, I have so many videos, but nobody wants to see them”.

Pierre and Vivienne Lambert

Rachel, the tetraplegic’s wife, was in favour of the interruption of the artificial feeding, six others among the brothers and sisters, as well as a nephew, François. The doctors of Reims consider Vincent in an “irreversible vegetative state” and since 2013 they speak of an “unreasonable obstinacy”: this justifies, according to the French law, that we can pull the plug. At the Sébastopol hospital they have already tried us on several occasions. Vincent’s parents have filed various appeals. But ultimately, even at the European Court of Human Rights, they were all rejected, most recently by the French Constitutional Court in April.

Sabato Viviane and Pierre Lambert’s lawyers have even appealed to Emmanuel Macron, to intervene to stop the process that will be triggered today. Meanwhile, the story is becoming political. François-Henry Bellamy, the leaders of the forthcoming Europeans for the Republicans, the right-wing party, said he did not understand “why we want to fall like this”. Instead, Nathalie Loiseau, leader for République en marche!, the macronist formation, underlined that “the President cannot go against decisions taken by justice”.