Monday, October 17, 2022

23-year-old Belgian woman with PTSD dies by euthanasia creating a global scandal

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director,
Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Shanti De Corte
Sue Reid, wrote an article in the Daily Mail on October 16 about the world-wide reaction to the euthanasia death of Shanti De Corte, the 23-year-old who died by euthanasia in Belgium in May because she was living with PTSD after a ISIS bombing attack 7 years earlier.

Reid, reporting for the Daily Mail explains:

Yet the small country is embroiled in a huge controversy, after it emerged that a 23-year-old woman called Shanti De Corte had chosen to end her life in May this year, with the support of her middle-class parents Peter and Marielle. She was suffering from depression and ‘unbearable’ mental distress. She had never recovered from being caught up in the Isis terror bombing of Brussels airport in 2016 as she waited to board a plane to Rome on a school trip.

Shanti, who was then 17, escaped the explosion in the departure hall physically unscathed but many others were less fortunate. No fewer than 32 innocent people were killed and hundreds injured.

Shanti escaped physical injury from the terrorist attack but she continued to live with PTSD. Shanti received treatment but never recovered from the trauma. But when Shanti sought a death by euthanasia, her parents were supportive of the decision.
De Corte's death has had international ramifications. Reid explains:
The revelation that Shanti chose death because of a mental health problem, rather than as a result of suffering a painful or terminal physical disease, has now provoked Belgian prosecutors to investigate her case.

They acted after a Brussels neurologist, Paul Deltenre, complained that she was euthanised ‘prematurely’. The neurologist said there were treatments and care options that had not been tried or explored.

Whatever the truth of this, the case has led anti-euthanasia campaigners to renew claims that, if a young woman who has everything ahead of her can so easily opt to end her life by a doctor’s injection, the country’s assisted-dying law is too liberal.
Godelieve de Troyer
The article explains the state of euthanasia in several jurisdictions. Reid comments on the recent Human Rights decision concerning the euthanasia death of Godelieve de Troyer, who died by euthanasia in 2011 because she had experienced chronic depression.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) slammed the country earlier this month after a 64-year-old woman called Godelieve de Troyer, who suffered from chronic depression, persuaded doctors to euthanise her without the knowledge of her family.

In a damning judgment, the ECHR ruled that the country’s federal euthanasia commission had violated Godelieve’s right to life by failing to examine her case properly after her son, Tom Mortier, complained to the ruling body about the manner of his mother’s death.

His lawyers say she was physically healthy and her own doctor of more than 20 years had denied her request to be euthanised. But she had made a €2,500 donation to an end-of-life organisation which helped organise the procedure in 2012, according to ECHR documents.

Mr Mortier, who is still distressed about the case, has said: ‘My mother was treated for years by psychiatrists and, sadly, she and I lost contact for some time. It was during this period that she died. Never could I have imagined that we would be parted for ever.’

He has revealed that the first he knew of his mother’s death was 24 hours after it had happened, when his wife received a phone call from the hospital telling the family to collect his mother’s belongings and make funeral arrangements. ‘Euthanasia inflicts immense harm on people in vulnerable situations contemplating ending their lives, but also their families,’ he said in a series of European TV interviews and media statements.
Tine Nys with her sisters
Reid writes of Tine Nys, who died by euthanasia because she was autistic, but her family claims that Nys wanted euthanasia after a broken relationship.

        Another high-profile civil case is under way in                        Belgium over the euthanasia of a 38-year-old woman         called Tine Nys who, according to her three doctors,            was suffering ‘unbearable psychological pain’ when she died.
The medics, who argued that they acted in good faith, were each cleared of murder in 2020 despite poisoning Ms Nys when she asked them to kill her in the aftermath of a broken relationship.

Her two sisters, Sophie and Lotte, argue that her condition fell short of an ‘incurable’ mental disorder. They want the key doctor who administered an injection to Tine to pay compensation to their family for what they have told Flemish TV was a botched procedure ‘carried out in an amateurish way’ on someone who had not had psychiatric treatment for 15 years’.

In a Flemish TV interview, the sisters said: ‘He [the doctor] also asked our father to hold the needle in her arm because he had forgotten to bring plasters. When she had died, he asked our parents if they wanted to listen through the stethoscope to check her heart had stopped beating.’
Reid writes of Maria De Laet (81) who requested euthanasia after caring for her husband with dementia for 10 years before he died. 

Killing by euthanasia is promoted and approved based on the "hard" cases. Once killing becomes an acceptable solution to human suffering, there will be many more reasons to kill.

We need a caring society not a society that kills.

No comments: