If you’ve been following Vincent Lambert’s story, you know the forty-two-year old Frenchman suffered brain damage in a 2008 auto accident. Vincent has been at the center of an international court battle over the rights of the disabled ever since. Many have dubbed him the “French Terri Schiavo,” and several parallels do exist.
Loss and Win: This month, the European Court of Human Rights rejected pleas for food and water for Vincent while the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities evaluates his case (which could take years). University Hospital of Reims terminated Vincent’s care and began administering heavy sedation to induce a coma as he would slowly die from dehydration/starvation. Within the day, a Paris appeals court ordered his food and water reinstated and his sedation withdrawn.
Please 1) pray Vincent can move to a more supportive disabled care facility, 2) share this post, and 3) keep reading for the facts our opponents have tried to distort or hide.
Comparing the Cases: Both Terri’s and Vincent’s parents fought heroically for the lives of their disabled, adult children—while their spouses used the courts to repeatedly order their deaths through dehydration/starvation.
Similarly, headline-grabbing battles over years included multiple court decisions, appeals to national leaders, and the faithful prayers of millions on their behalf.
Terri’s husband and Vincent’s wife each claimed some variation of, “she/he wouldn’t want to live this way.” News outlets erroneously reported both of them as being in a “persistent vegetative state” (PVS) while “minimally conscious state” is a more accurate diagnosis for Vincent (and definitively regarding Terri).
The first time Attorney David Gibbs III met Terri, he noted she could actually move and almost jumped out of her chair with giggling excitement when her mother greeted her. David notes in his book, Fighting for Dear Life, that if the public were allowed to see the reality of her situation, she would have survived the court battle over her life.
Vincent has paralysis in all four limbs but can move his head, face, and eyes. Several years ago, video of Vincent listening intently to a phone call (from his mother) and interacting (with his college friend) through eye contact and facial expressions, brought awareness and support in France and worldwide.
Much of the language advocating Terri’s premature death is being used by the same media outlets who have been cheering for Vincent’s euthanasia. Please continue to pray for the truth of God’s Word to permeate our culture—here and abroad. Our brothers- and sisters-in-Christ around the world need your prayer support in the face of efforts to prematurely kill the weakest among us.