Katholieke Stichting Medische Ethiek
21 mei 2019

Pauselijke Academie voor het Leven reageert op commotie rondom Vincent Lambert

On the case of Mr. Vincent Lambert

Joint Declaration of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life and
the Pontifical Academy for Life on the case of Mr. Vincent Lambert, 21.05.2019

Pauselijke Academie voor het Leven, 21 mei 2019

In full agreement with the affirmations of the Archbishop of Reims, H.E.
Msgr. Éric de Moulins-Beaufort, and the auxiliary bishop, H.E. Msgr. Bruno
Feillet, in relation to the sad case of Mr. Vincent Lambert, we wish to
reiterate the grave violation of the dignity of the person that the withdrawal
of nutrition and hydration would constitute. Indeed, the “vegetative state” is
certainly a burdensome pathological state, which however does not in any way
compromise the dignity of those people who find themselves in this condition,
nor does it compromise their fundamental rights to life and to care, understood
as the continuity of basic human assistance.

Nutrition and hydration constitute a form of essential care, always
proportionate to life support: to nourish a sick person never constitutes a
form of unreasonable therapeutic obstinacy, as long as the person is able to
receive nutrition and hydration, provided this does not cause intolerable
suffering or prove damaging to the patient.

The suspension of such care represents, rather, a form of abandonment of
the patient, based on a pitiless judgment of the quality of life, expression of
a throwaway culture that selects the most fragile and helpless people, without
recognizing their uniqueness and immense value. The continuity of assistance is
an inescapable duty.

We therefore hope that solutions may be found as soon as possible to
protect Mr. Lambert’s life. To this end, we assure the prayer of the Holy
Father and all the Church.

Kevin Cardinal Farrell

+ Vincenzo Paglia