Whose Right to Die?
In July, Vincent Lambert, a Frenchman, was left completely paralysed after a car crash in 2008. He also suffered severe brain damage but seemed to recognise family and friends. His parents claimed that he had “minimal consciousness but is not a vegetable”, and should not be killed. His wife argued that, before the crash, he had expressed a wish to die rather than be kept alive by artificial means. The legal tussle between his parents and his wife lasted 11 years. Finally, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that his feeding and hydration tubes could be removed. He died after nine days in July.