Court backs France over withdrawal of treatment to teenager in vegetative state

Human rights judges say the decision of French authorities to stop the treatment of a minor in a vegetative state did not breach the European convention.

In its 25 January decision in the case of Afiri and Biddarri v. France (application no. 1828/18) the European Court of Human Rights has unanimously declared the application inadmissible.

The decision is final.

The complaint was lodged by Djamila Afiri and Mohamed Biddarri, are French nationals who were born in 1966 and live in Longlaville and Joeuf respectively. They are the divorced parents of Inès, who is aged 14 and suffers from autoimmune myasthenia gravis.

The case concerned the decision to withdraw the life-sustaining treatment being administered to a 14-year-old girl in a vegetative state following acute cardio-respiratory failure.

The court found that the legislative framework in force complied with Article 2 (right to life) of the European Convention on Human Rights and that, despite the fact that the applicants disagreed with the outcome of the decision-making process undertaken by the doctors, the process had satisfied the requirements of that Article.

It also found that French law had provided for a judicial remedy that satisfied the requirements of Article 2.

On 9 January 2018 the applicants submitted a request for interim measures under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court. Their request was rejected on 23 January 2018.



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