French euthanasia case draws in human rights court

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Demonstrators dressed as mime artists hold placards which read "no to the euthanasia of elderly people, solidarity is urgent", at Trocadero plaza in Paris, Tuesday June 24, 2014. One of France's top courts will rule Tuesday on whether to cut the life support of a 38-year-old in a vegetative state, in a case that has torn his family apart. The State Council is due to make the sensitive call on the case of Vincent Lambert, who has been a quadriplgic since a car crash in 2008. Eiffel Tower is in the background. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

PARIS (AP) — Europe's top human rights court has ordered doctors to continue treatment for a man left comatose after a car accident six years ago, in a highly unusual late-night decision hours after a French court ruled that the man had been clear he did not want to be kept in a vegetative state.

Vincent Lambert's family members disagree on whether to keep him alive artificially, and relatives opposed to withholding treatment successfully appealed to the European Court of Human Rights to intervene. The Strasbourg-based court confirmed Wednesday it had suspended the French decision.

Lambert's case has drawn nationwide attention amid growing calls to legalize euthanasia. Euthanasia is currently legal in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. The European decision also forbids Lambert from being transferred.