Lambert's death 'a defeat for humanity'

The case had Lambert

Vincent Lambert, the severely disabled Frenchman who was at the centre of a fierce legal battle, has died. Source: The Catholic Herald.

In a tweet yesterday, the Pontifical Academy for Life said Mr Lambert’s death, in the north-eastern city of Reims, was “a defeat for our entire humanity”.

Cardinal Robert Sarah also took to Twitter to comment on his death, saying Mr Lambert “died as a martyr”.

On Sunday, doctors stopped feeding and hydrating Mr Lambert after a final court ruling allowed doctors to end life support and remove his water and feeding tubes.

This prompted Archbishop Michael Aupetit of Paris to ask priests to offer Mass for Mr Lambert.

Archbishop Aupetit wrote: “It is now the time for contemplation, for compassion, and for prayer for Mr Vincent Lambert. Either today or tomorrow I suggest that you celebrate Mass for his intention and entrusting him to the Lord, the God of mercy. This intention can also be extended to all of his relatives.”

Mr Lambert’s case has been in the courts for years after his wife and parents battled over whether he should be allowed to die or continue to be kept alive by life support.

A former nurse, he was in a car accident in 2008 that left him a quadriplegic and with severe head injuries.

His wife, Rachel Lambert, and six of Lambert’s eight siblings all believed that he should be taken off life support, but his parents, devout Catholics, insisted he be kept alive.

Earlier this week, Mr Lambert’s father said his son’s impending death was “murder in disguise”.

On Wednesday, Pope Francis tweeted: “We pray for the sick who are abandoned and left to die. A society is human if it protects life, every life, from its beginning to its natural end, without choosing who is worthy to live or who is not. Doctors should serve life, not take it away.”

FULL STORY

Vincent Lambert dies in Reims hospital (The Catholic Herald)

RELATED COVERAGE

French vegetative patient Vincent Lambert dies after decade-long life support battle (ABC News)

Man at centre of French family's battle over life support dies (The Guardian)

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