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Vincent Lambert: religious leaders of Reims, no to “disproportionate treatments”, yes to support so that “no one will ask society to die”

“We fully acknowledge that renouncing a treatment that is considered to be useless, disproportionate or prone to cause a further state of suffering belongs to the dignity of every human being, on condition such decision does not endanger anyone else’s life”, and “we believe that human beings can support and help each other, assist each other in the most painful moments of life, so that no citizen will be tempted to demand society to make him die”. These are the first two points of a joint statement about Vincent Lambert’s death, signed by the religious leaders of Reims. It has been signed by Rabbi Amar; Aomar Bendaoud, imam of the Grand Mosque; pastors Xavier Langlois and Pascal Geoffroy of the United Protestant Church of France; archbishop Eric de Moulins-Beaufort, and the auxiliary bishop Bruno Feillet. After ensuring prayers for Lambert and his family, to whom they express their sympathy and compassion, the signers of the statement remind their fellow citizens that depending on others “for care or ordinary acts does not mean losing one’s dignity”; they emphasise the importance of devotion, generosity and solidarity in “caregivers”. To support these people as best as they can, they state, “medical and philosophical research is certainly still necessary. Equally necessary is a reflection on the practice of resuscitation. In our opinion, it is important to keep having cautious and extensive discussions on such medical and ethical aspects”.

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