European Journal of Health Law 18(5) (2011): 521-530. This case, like some others that I discussed in a recent Journal of Clinical Ethics (2011) article, re-frames the debate from permissive refusal to mandatory refusal, from when may physicians stop futile treatment to when must they stop.I learned a lot more about the case from Manaouil, Gignon & Jarde, "A French Hospital Sentenced for Unreasonable Obstinacy,"
The case is still on appeal. Notably, French law that came into force after the case, like similar new Spanish law, requires that physicians "refrain from any unreasonable obstinacy . . . and may not choose to begin or continue treatments that appear unnecessary, disproportionate, or that have no other object or effect than the artificial preservation of life." The authors conclude that while this law (whether in the statute or judicially created) is sound, it is questionable to apply it, as in the Hospital of Orange case, in the context of an emergency.