Vincent Lambert's life support turned off, then back on after court order

A monitor with a heartbeat on it.
Photo credit: Getty

A French court has ordered doctors to put a vegetative man back on life support just hours after it was switched off.

Vincent Lambert has been on life support in a French hospital since a motorbike accident in 2008, the New York Times reports.

His wife and siblings believe the most humane course is to let him die, but his devout Catholic parents disagree.

The tubes artificially feeding and hydrating Lambert were turned off early on Monday (local time) and doctors began administering strong doses of sedation, in line with his wife and siblings' wishes.

But a challenge in the Paris appeals court succeeded and the tubes were turned back on late on Monday night.

He will remain on life support until a review has been conducted by the United Nations-affiliated Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Lambert has become the symbol of the Right to Life movement in France, with his parents fighting to keep him alive.

"They were starting to eliminate Vincent," his mother, Viviane, told AFP after the Paris appeals court ruling.

"This is a very big victory. They are going to restore nutrition and give him [hydration]. "For once I am proud of the courts."

However Lambert's wife claims he doesn't want to live in a vegetative state, telling French radio station RTL to see her husband die would be to see him free.

Politicians have even weighed in on the stoush, with President Emmanuel Macron, who has refused to intervene in the case.

"The decision to stop treatment was taken after a constant dialogue between his doctors and his wife, who is his legal representative," Macron said.


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