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January 17, 2014

French debate 'right to die with dignity' after court ruling

Decision against ending patient's life reignites national conversation on euthanasia.

Pierre and Viviane Lambert wait on January 15, 2014 at the administrative court of Chalons-en-Champagne. (AFP/HERVE OUDIN)

A French court has ruled that a 38-year-old quadriplegic in a vegetative state will remain on life support, triggering both outrage and celebration in France. 

Vincent Lambert was incapacitated in a car accident five years ago, but the decision to cut his intravenous food and water supply has divided his family. Lambert's doctors and wife wanted to end the supply and allow Lambert to die, but his parents, who are vehemently opposed to ending his life, took his case to court. In an interview with Europe1, Lambert's nephew, Francois Lambert, insisted that Vincent told his wife that he would want to die if he ever went in a coma. 
Lambert's case coincides with ongoing debates in France about legalising euthanasia and assisted suicide.