Friday, May 14, 2021

Another court hearing in the Belgian euthanasia death of Tine Nys

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Tine Nys (center) with her sisters
Alan Hope reported for the Brussels Times that a new trial has started in the death of Tine Nys, who died by euthanasia for psychological reasons in Belgium in April 2010.

On January 31, 2020 a Belgian court cleared three doctors in the euthanasia death of Tine Nys (38). The Tine's family continued to argue that Tine didn't qualify for euthanasia and that she was falsely diagnosed as autistic in order to qualify her for euthanasia.

BBC news article from January 14, 2020 reported that:
Nys's family argue that her reason for seeking to end her life was because of a failed relationship, far short of the "serious and incurable disorder" as required under Belgian law.

Hope reported that the family challenged the January 31, 2020 verdict. 

That trial led to an acquittal of all three, but the family took the verdict to the Cassation Court, which ordered that Dr Van Hove should be tried again, as the court’s explanation for its verdict in his case was insufficiently argued.
Hope stated that since the public prosecutor did not appeal the court decision, this court case concerns the civil liability of the physician who euthanized Tine Nys.
When the three doctors were acquitted in January 2020, the public prosecutor declined to take the case to the Cassation Court, which means that the acquittal on criminal charges can no longer be overturned. So the court case currently underway in Dendermonde has to decide if Dr Van Hove is civilly liable, and therefore has to pay damages to Nys’ family.
Recently Belgium's euthanasia law was criticized at the UN Human Rights Committee.

The family of Tine Nys have battled the Belgian legal system for more than 10 years.

Similar to Canada, when a euthanasia death is approved, even if the assessments were wrong, the death has been considered lawful.

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