A teenager has been in a deep coma since June. The doctors who treat her feel that there is no hope. The parents refuse to authorize the cessation of the care. The State Council, seized on bail, has ruled and validates the cessation of care. Doctors now apply this decision.
On Friday, the State Council validated the decision to stop the care of a 14-year-old girl, in a vegetative coma since June 2018, but that parents refuse to let die. He had been seized by the parents in accordance with the "interlocutory injunction" procedure, a procedure that allows the judge to "order any measure necessary for the safeguarding of a fundamental freedom". This decision comes in the wake of the decision of the Administrative Court of Nancy, which, on December 7, had validated the opinion of doctors, expressed in collegial procedure at the end of July.
According to the spokesman of the State Council. "It is now up to the doctors in charge of the child to assess whether, and in what time frame, the decision to stop treatment must be executed".
A hopeless coma
Inès suffers from a neuromuscular autoimmune disease. She has been hospitalized since June at the University Hospital of Nancy in the aftermath of a serious heart attack that caused a coma exceeded or "coma vegetative".
Despite intensive care, and in the absence of improvement in his condition, doctors have found his case hopeless. In accordance with the End-of-Life Act of 2016, they initiated a procedure to stop treatment.
The father and mother of the teenager, had seized in emergency ("in summary") the highest administrative jurisdiction to oppose the decision of the Administrative Court of Nancy which had validated the proposal to stop the care of doctors. For parents, the decision of the court is to ask these doctors "to kill" ... An understandable interpretation, but a little abrupt.
Apply the end of life decision
It is not, indeed, to cause the end of life of the girl. Active euthanasia is prohibited in our country. It's about letting her die and therefore stopping supportive care. There is a very specific protocol, but it is difficult for a doctor to talk about a medical procedure, even if it should be.
To give death is the opposite of the mission of a doctor. We perceive the dilemma. However, we must not be naive either ... For generations, doctors have been shortening - often in great solitude - the suffering of patients for whom there is no longer any hope, if not to prolong suffering. useless.
An end-of-life protocol
In the case of these deep comas, there is an "end of life" protocol, which consists of stopping the diet and hydration, and giving anesthetic drugs. It's true that it can be interpreted as "dying of thirst and hunger", but it is not.
We have two certainties. The first is that the brain only works automatically, without consciousness ... The second is that if we had the slightest doubt that the patient could feel the pain, the anesthetic drugs used jointly leaves no room for suffering, moral or physical.
Today we use products one million times more powerful than morphine. This leaves little room for suffering. Except the parents.