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Court: Vincent Lambert – request for interim measures rejected

Earlier today, the European Court of Human Rights rejected a new request from family members concerning the medical treatment of Vincent Lambert, who following an accident, remains in a vegetative state.

In the case of Lambert and Others v. France (application no. 21675/19), the family asked the European Court of Human Rights under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court to indicate to the French State the immediate application of the interim measures demanded of France by the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) on 3 May 2019.

The applicants, Pierre Lambert, Viviane Lambert, David Philippon and Anne Tuarze, are respectively the father, mother, half-brother and sister of Vincent Lambert.

The court observed that on 30 April 2019 it had decided, having regard to the circumstances, to reject the requests for interim measures submitted to it.

The court today pointed out that the applicants had submitted no new evidence such as to induce it to change its position.

Vincent Lambert sustained serious head injuries in a road-traffic accident on 29 September 2008, which left him tetraplegic and in a state of complete dependency. In 2014 his condition was described as vegetative.

The applicants’ request, by the applicants was  submitted following the fourth collegial procedure for the withdrawal of treatment, initiated in 2017.

In a decision of 9 April 2018, the doctor in charge of Vincent Lambert had decided to withdraw the patient’s artificial nutrition and hydration and to combine this stoppage with deep and continuous sedation.

Several members of Vincent Lambert’s family made an urgent application to the Administrative Court seeking a stay of execution of that decision. After ordering an expert’s assessment, the Châlons-en-Champagne Administrative Court dismissed their application on 31 January 2019.

The applicants then took their case to the Conseil d’État, which dismissed their appeal on 24 April 2019.

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