Withdrawal of life support – again: Lambert & Ors v France


Vincent Lambert was in a vegetative state and had to be artificially fed and hydrated. His parents, half-brother and sister wanted him to be kept fed and hydrated while his wife, his nephew and his physicians wanted life-support discontinued. The Administrative Court had held that withdrawal of artificial nutrition and hydration would be “a serious and manifestly unlawful breach of [his] right to life”.

On appeal, however, the Conseil d’État held that the provision in the Public Health Code authorising doctors to withdraw and withhold “unreasonably persistent medical treatment” [un traitement médical qui traduirait une obstination déraisonnable] did not violate Article 2 (right to life) or 8 (private and family life) ECHR [47] Continue reading