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   Case summaries      Lambert v France 46043/14
 

Lambert v France 46043/14 [2015] ECHR 545 European Court of Human Rights Grand Chamber



Vincent Lambert was involved in a road traffic incident in 2008 which left him a tetraplegic and in a chronic vegetative state. He was kept on life support and attempts to get him to respond to physiotherapy and communication therapy were unsuccessful. In 2013 a decision was reached between the doctors and Vincent's wife and parents to withdraw support. The applicants are Vincent's siblings that wish to prevent the withdrawal of support relying on Art 2 European Convention of Human Rights.

Held:

The withdrawal of support did not violate Art 2 ECHR.

"in this sphere concerning the end of life, as in that concerning the beginning of life, States must be afforded a margin of appreciation, not just as to whether or not to permit the withdrawal of artificial life-sustaining treatment and the detailed arrangements governing such withdrawal, but also as regards the means of striking a balance between the protection of patients’ right to life and the protection of their right to respect for their private life and their personal autonomy. However, this margin of appreciation is not unlimited and the Court reserves the power to review whether or not the State has complied with its obligations under Article 2. .... the Court has found both the legislative framework laid down by domestic law, as interpreted by the Conseil d’État, and the decision-making process, which was conducted in meticulous fashion in the present case, to be compatible with the requirements of Article 2. "


Back to lecture outline on Art 2 ECHR