Man at center of French soul-searching on life support dies

FILE - In this July 23, 2015 file photo, Viviane and Pierre Lambert, left, parents of Vincent Lambert, arrive at the Sebastopol hospital, in Reims, ea

FILE - In this July 23, 2015 file photo, Viviane and Pierre Lambert, left, parents of Vincent Lambert, arrive at the Sebastopol hospital, in Reims, ea

FILE - This July 23 2015 file photo shows Rachel Lambert, wife of Vincent Lambert, crying as she speaks to the media, at the Sebastopol hospital, in R

FILE - This July 23 2015 file photo shows Rachel Lambert, wife of Vincent Lambert, crying as she speaks to the media, at the Sebastopol hospital, in R

PARIS (AP) — A man who was in a vegetative state for 11 years who was at the center of a bitter dispute that divided his family and French courts, and provoked national soul-searching over how to deal with terminally ill patients, has died.

Vincent Lambert, 42, died on Thursday, nine days after doctors stopped providing artificial feeding and hydration, ending years of flip-flopping over whether to keep him alive.

Ending treatment came four days after France's highest court quashed a Paris court decision to resume feeding so the United Nations could examine the case.

His nephew, Francois Lambert, expressed relief, saying that "It's the rational that takes over."

Lambert had sided with his uncle's wife who wanted to let her husband die, while the mother fought relentlessly to keep her son alive.