Sunday, July 19, 2015

Je suis Vincent. Je soutiens Vincent.

I have been rather disappointed with the pro-life blogosphere regarding its failure to cover the Vincent Lambert case with any consistency. At this point one has to read a hard-to-find French-language site (for which I rely on Google Translate) to get regular updates. I have great admiration for Wesley J. Smith but gave him some pushback on the lack of coverage of this case in my comments here here, and here.

If nothing else, the Vincent Lambert case appears to represent a sea change in France, legally, and someone with better connections than mine could do a better report than I can on exactly what the legal situation has previously been and what the precedent of saying that Vincent is killable will mean in the future for vulnerable patients in France. Will this vary by geographical region? Will there be many doctors who will resist? Where are most of the French people on the issue of dehydrating people to death? What ability will families have to protect their family members? What is the precise nature of the new legislation that was passed in France recently on this issue? And so forth.

In any event, let's be clear: Vincent Lambert is not dead yet. This is why the fact that his case has been dropped bothers me. It's as though he's being treated as dead already, because it's allegedly a hopeless case, and the outcome is inevitable.

As with Terri Schiavo, Vincent is alive today because his parents have not taken that attitude and have gone on fighting legally for his life for years.

Yes, I know we're all weary, and yes, I know, there is little we can do. But let's face it: To some degree this is a failure of pro-life solidarity across cultural and geographical boundaries. If this were happening in America, various sites would be re-publishing and re-tweeting updates on Vincent's legal situation and on the next moves against him and for him, in English, all over the world. As it is, just try googling to get the latest and see what luck you have. Yeah, not much, right?

For some reason, the main site that is the clearing house for updates from Vincent's supporters isn't coming up in my google searches.

So, if you're interested (and you should be), HERE IT IS.

And HERE is a link to the updates page.

Be sure to sign the petition for Vincent Lambert's life. That will also sign you up for updates via e-mail (though they'll be in French).

As near as I can understand, a couple of relevant points are these:

--Vincent can apparently eat by mouth. This should be a really big deal, but his doctors aren't paying attention to it.

--Vincent's fate appears to lie in the hands of his doctors. Unlike in the Schiavo case, there is not a direct court order telling the doctors to kill him. So if they were to relent (a big if), and especially if they were to allow him to be transferred to a facility in a different country with a different agenda, he could be saved.

So what can we do? Continue to publicize the case. Sign the petition. And pray. Those come to mind immediately.

The latest appears to be that a meeting has been called by the doctor in charge (if I'm understanding correctly) for July 23. Vincent's supporters fear that this will mean that the doctor will order his food and water to be stopped at that time.

Speaking for myself, I would love to do an interview with someone knowledgeable in the pro-life camp in France on the future of such cases. It is doubtful that I will get the opportunity, but that would be a great opportunity for independent journalism. I suggest that some pro-life organizations look into that.

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