French prosecutor drops charges in euthanasia case

2nd January 2006, Comments 0 comments

LILLE, France, Jan 2 (AFP) - A French prosecutor on Monday said he had dropped charges against the mother and doctor of a quadriplegic young man who helped him to die in 2003, and called for their acquittal.

LILLE, France, Jan 2 (AFP) - A French prosecutor on Monday said he had dropped charges against the mother and doctor of a quadriplegic young man who helped him to die in 2003, and called for their acquittal.

Vincent Humbert, a 22-year-old fireman, was left blind, mute and paralysed after a car crash in 2000.

His mother Marie, who had campaigned in vain with her son for his right to die, administered him an overdose of sedatives, after which he lapsed into a coma.

Doctor Frédéric Chaussoy later injected Vincent with a lethal dose of drugs and switched off his life support system.

Chaussoy faced a possible life sentence for poisoning with premeditation, while Marie Humbert has been charged with administering her son with toxic substances, and faces up to five years' imprisonment.

State prosecutor Gerald Lesigne said he had decided to drop charges against them after considering the "moral aspects of the offence, not its material and legal aspects".

The court in the northern town of Boulogne-sur-Mer must now rule on whether to acquit the pair.

Vincent Humbert's case brought the issue of euthanasia to the forefront of public debate in France.

The French parliament last year adopted a law granting terminally ill patients the "right to die" by allowing them to put a stop to medical treatment, although it did not legalise mercy killing.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

0 Comments To This Article