Two sisters have criticised Belgian doctors after they approved euthanasia for their sister just because she had broken up with her boyfriend. Lotte and Sophie Nys also allege the doctor who killed their sister was “callous” and “inept”, increasing their family’s grief.
Tine Nys asked doctors to kill her at the age of 38 after breaking up with her long-term boyfriend. Belgian law allows people to request euthanasia even if they have no physical illness, as long as they claim unbearable psychological suffering.
The ultra-liberal euthanasia law has caused considerable controversy both within the country and abroad with critics saying it encourages the mentally ill to kill themselves rather than receive proper treatment.
Ms Nys had received psychiatric help earlier in life, but by the time she died she had not been receiving treatment for 15 years. She announced her decision to kill herself to her shocked family on Christmas Eve 2009.
Speaking to documentary show Terzake, sisters Lotte and Sophie said: “She had a difficult childhood and a history of mental illness, but she outgrew that.”
What shocked the sisters even more was the “perverse” attitude of the doctor who euthanized Tine. They claim he was so incompetent that he forgot to bring bandages, and described the procedure to her distressed family as being like “a lethal injection administered to a favourite pet to end its suffering.”
Belgian paper De Morgen says he also asked Tine’s parents to listen to their daughter’s heart through a stethoscope to check it had stopped beating. “An incredibly perverse demand,” the sisters said.
Belgian law allows euthanasia in the case of mental illnesses that are incurable, but the doctors who assessed Tine made no effort to treat her. The paperwork was also not done within the required time, but the Belgian euthanasia commission still gave it the go-ahead.
“I hope this was bad luck, but I fear that this is not an isolated case,” psychiatrist Joris Vandenberghe told the show. “The bar for euthanasia should be higher.”
Breitbart reported last year how Belgium is now the world capital for “hastened deaths”, with doctors killing around 1,000 terminally ill patients each year without their explicit consent.
Neighbouring Netherlands has similar laws that even allow for the killing of children with terminal illnesses. Breitbart London reported in January last year that the country kills an average 650 babies a year thanks to this policy as their parents do not want them to struggle with disease or disability.