Friday, November 23, 2018

Three Belgian doctors face charges over euthanasia death for psychiatric reasons.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Tine Neys in the center with her sisters
shortly before her death.
hree Belgian doctors will face a court hearing in the euthanasia death of Tine Nys (38), the first trial to take place since euthanasia was made legal in 2002, the Brussels Times reported.

Nys died by euthanasia for psychiatric reasons, but her family contend that she should not have been approved for euthanasia and that the death was carried-out in an amateur manner. According to the Brussels Times:
The case concerns a 38-year-old woman, Tine Nys, who was euthanised in April 2010 at her request, as she suffered from psychological problems. 
According to the patient’s family, Nys was not ill enough to meet the requirements of the euthanasia law as it was at that time. In addition, the procedure was carried out in an “amateurish” fashion, relatives said. A sister of the dead woman made a complaint, and the circumstances of the case were investigated by the Ghent prosecutor’s office. 
The committal hearing found there was enough prima facie evidence of wrong-doing to send the case to trial. The three doctors – two physicians and a psychiatrist – have not been detained. This is the first trial to take place since euthanasia was made legal under strict limits in 2002. 
According to the family, Nys had a psychiatric past, but at the time of her request for euthanasia had not been in an institution for 15 years. She had, however, experienced a recent break in a relationship.
Wim Distelmans, the chair of the euthanasia evaluation committee, who also operates a Belgian euthanasia clinic stated that Nys met the conditions for euthanasia in Belgium. De Standard news reported Distelmans stating:
'The committee only checks whether the basic conditions and procedural conditions have been met. If documents show that this is the case, then we have no reason to doubt. We do not judge the professional competence of the psychiatrist or the doctor. It is not for us to judge about that. That is what the order of doctors, for example, is for. '
Recently the Public Prosecutor in the Netherlands charged a doctor in the euthanasia death of a woman with dementia, who previously stated that she wanted to die by euthanasia, but at the time of the euthanasia, she said no. According to the case, the doctor put a sedative in her coffee and then had the family hold her down while completing the lethal injection.

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