Docs ordered to resume treatment after life support halted against family wishes

Doctors have been ordered to resume treating a French quadriplegic 12 hours after a court ruled to switch off his life support.

Medical professionals had begun the process of ending Vincent Lambert's life support by halting his feeding tube and then administering sedatives earlier on Monday.

However a court has intervened, ordering doctors to resume giving the paralysed man, who is in a vegetative state, food and water.

It follows years of legal wrangling over what to do about the 42-year-old motorcycle crash victim, in a case that has split his family and the country over the right to die issue.

While Lambert's wife and some of his siblings supported ending Lambert's life support, his Catholic parents, backed by other relatives, have fought the decision.

Mother Viviane has called the doctors "monsters" after she and Lambert's father launched a desperate last-ditch appeal to French president Emmanuel Macron and the country's courts.

In order to launch the probe into his case, Lambert's parents had asked the government to prevent his euthanasia.

Yesterday, the Paris Appeal Court ruled a May 3 request from the UN Committee of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to inspect Lambert's should be respected.

The decision required doctors to resume Lambert's treatment in the northeastern city of Reims following the urgent judge's ruling.

Lambert has been in a vegetative state since a motorcycle accident in 2008. He has almost no consciousness, but can breath without a respirator and occasionally moves his eyes.

Doctors had decided in 2014 to stop his nourishment and fluids, with the support of Lambert's wife Rachel, five of his siblings and his nephew.

However, the move split his family, with his parents and half brother and sister gaining a court order to block the move as they thought more treatment could improve his condition.

Previously, medics had agreed to stop treating Lambert., which the European Court of Human Rights had ruled did not violate his right to life.

Macron himself argued that Lambert's fate was not his decision, noting that the medical experts had concluded that the patient's condition is "irreversible".

Lambert's parents had alleged that they were not permitted to say goodbye to their son.

Their lawyer, Jean Paillot said "It is shameful, they could not even embrace their son."

Yesterday the Pope intervened in a message and asked that Lambert's life be protected to allow it to reach its "natural end".

Euthanasia is illegal in France but medical professionals are permitted to sedate terminally ill patients until death, in a process called continuous deep sedation.

The case continues.

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