Friday, July 31, 2020

Belgium law violated to kill depressed woman by euthanasia. Here is the evidence.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Leone Groti, reporting for reports on the case of Godelieva de Troyer, the depressed Belgian woman who died by euthanasia in Belgium. (Google translated from Italian).

Godelieva de Troyer
Doctors who authorized and then carried-out Godelieva de Troyer's euthanasia in Belgium on April 19, 2012 repeatedly violated the law on euthanasia. The incredible case pending before the European Court of Human Rights, told in detail by Tempi in the March 2019 issue, came to a turning point after the Belgian government was forced to file the form completed by the doctor who killed the 64-year-old woman. The four-page document, submitted as per regulation to the Commission of Control of Euthanasia, charged in Belgium to verify compliance with the law, has been kept hidden for seven years. The form, as is indicated at, which obtained a copy in consultation, confirms the violation of the law in black and 
white which since 2002 has caused the death of 19,420 people (data updated to 2018, latest communication available), an average more than 3 people a day.

The Two Months Late
Madame de Troyer was not dying or suffering from an incurable condition. However, she had suffered since she was 19 of depression, exacerbated in the last period of her life, as well as the suicide of her ex-husband, the breakdown of the relationship with her new partner and an often stormy relationship with her children. The case was brought to the Strasbourg Court by the son of the woman, Tom Mortier, after Belgian courts refused to initiate a trial. Mortier, who was kept in the dark about the euthanasia process, learned of the mother's death from a letter written by her and delivered to him on April 20, 2012, the day after her death.
Tom Mortier (son)
The "euthanasia registration form" number 607/12 was completed by the physician who killed de Troyer, Wim Distelmans, oncologist, professor of palliative care at the Free University of Brussels and above all a pioneer of euthanasia in Belgium, as well as Chairman of the Euthanasia Control Commission. Article 5 of the law provides that the forms must be completed after euthanasia has taken place and sent to the Control Commission "within four working days" from the injection. De Troyer was killed on April 19, but as the date stated on the form says, it was received by the commission only on June 20, more than two months late.

No "Independent Doctors"

Wim Distelmans
The law also requires that the doctor, before authorizing euthanasia, must consult two other doctors, who must be "independent of each other and with respect to the patient". On page 4, the form states that the first of the two doctors consulted is "a doctor in palliative care" belonging to the "Leif organization". The End of Life Information Forum is a pro euthanasia organization specializing in providing information on how to achieve "good death" and training doctors and nurses. Anyone can visit the Leif website and check the name of the president: Wim Distelmans.

Not only was there no independence between the doctor who killed de Troyer and the first consulted specialist. The second consulted doctor, a psychiatrist also "belongs to Leif", as it is written on page 4 of the form. As if the interdependence of the three doctors was not enough, before receiving the injection the woman made a bank transfer of 2,500 euros to the organization with the reason "Thanks to the Leif staff".

Dates Do Not Come Back

Violations of the law don't end there. As can be seen on page 2 of the form, the request for euthanasia was made by de Troyer on February 14th. Yet the legal consultation with the second "independent" doctor, the psychiatrist, took place almost a month earlier, on January 17, 2012. How is this possible? The law also provides that the doctor must ensure that the patient's request is "voluntary, well considered and repeated over time". In addition, the physician must have "numerous conversations with the patient over a reasonable period of time." From the day of the request to the day of the execution, however, barely 58 days pass, not even two months.

The amount of errors and violations is such that it is impossible not to notice it, yet the Euthanasia Control Commission that has viewed the form has decreed that everything has been done in compliance with the law. How is it possible? Could the Commission have been influenced by the fact that the material author of euthanasia, Wim Distelmans, is also the President of the Commission itself? And if so, how can this independent Commission be defined?

Conflict Of Interest

Here, too, there are at least two elements that do not return. In reply to the questions of the Strasbourg judges in writing, the Belgian Government stated that the approval of the case had been voted "unanimously" by the Commission. When the lawyers for Tom Mortier denounced the conflict of interest, the government explained that according to practice, if a member of the Commission is involved in the case of euthanasia examined, he remains silent.

But if Distelmans remained silent, how could he have voted? And how can this practice guarantee that there is no conflict of interest? At the same time that Distelmans had suddenly gone silent, would everyone have understood that the case concerned him and who would have dared to vote against the president and consequently send the file to the Belgian prosecutor's office to investigate him and put him on trial? It is difficult to think that there is no undue influence and pressure in the process of reviewing cases of euthanasia.

The Most Serious Problem

One last problem emerges from the form, perhaps the most serious. It states in fact that with Mrs de Troyer "all treatment attempts have been exhausted. The unbearable psychological suffering "can no longer" be cured ". The patient is also said to be "terrified that euthanasia does not happen" and "extremely happy that her suffering will finally end".

In Madame de Troyer's diaries, however, we read: "I miss my grandchildren so much. I won't see them grow and this pains me." And again: "I feel frustration and sadness because I have not been able to build a bond." The reference to grandchildren and children makes it clear that the difficulty of relating to the children was at the basis of the last phase of the depression of the woman, followed instead by a positive period. How then can the doctor say that depression cannot be cured and that "all medical avenues" have been explored, if he has never tried to make them restore their relationship with their children, as testified by one of them, Tom Mortier, authorizing his death within two months of the request?

The Right To Life Is Not Protected

All material and questions are now in the hands of the European Court for Human Rights, which will have to determine whether Belgium's euthanasia law has violated Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which sanctions: "The right to life of every person is protected by law", especially when this is in conditions of vulnerability, as in the case of de Troyer. They will also need to determine if Tom Mortier's right to respect for family life has been violated.

As Mortier 's attorney Robert Clarke, who is part of the Adf International legal group, declared to, "the Belgian government has until September to present further arguments, then the Court will decide. The sentence is expected to arrive in 6-12 months. Regardless of what they may say, it is clear that Belgium has not protected de Troyer's right to life, that the law on euthanasia has been violated and that the Audit Commission does not act independently." If the case is full of obscure points, at least one has been clarified: it is now evident why the Euthanasia Commission refused to show the de Troyer case form for seven years.

1 comment:

marwen said...

And how many more cases like this one are they still hiding.