The Point: Euthanasia by Any Other Name


Listen on your podcast App

Get your daily four-minute dose of sanity on the Breakpoint Podcast plus teaching, interviews, and more.

Listen on your podcast App

Euthanasia is illegal in France. But in name only. Over the weekend a French court denied an appeal by the family of Vincent Lambert to prevent doctors from withholding nutrition and hydration to the 42-year-old.

A quadriplegic since a 2008 motorcycle accident, Lambert can breathe on his own, swallow and digest food, but some doctors say he’s in a “vegetative state.” Other doctors disagree, saying instead that he has “minimum consciousness.”

His mother puts it this way: “Vincent is not a vegetable . . . I’ve never seen a vegetable turn its head when called.”

Nonetheless, and despite pleas from the Catholic Church and groups that pledged to care for Lambert, doctors may now stop hydration. That means Lambert will die of thirst.

It’s a horrible precedent for France. As the European Center for Justice noted, should Lambert be euthanized, some 1,700 French citizens “in the same state of health” could face the same fate.


Download MP3 Audio Here


Vincent Lambert to die
  • Michael Cook
  • July 6, 2019

Comment Policy: Commenters are welcome to argue all points of view, but they are asked to do it civilly and respectfully. Comments that call names, insult other people or groups, use profanity or obscenity, repeat the same points over and over, or make personal remarks about other commenters will be deleted. After multiple infractions, commenters may be banned.