Depressed woman dies by euthanasia in Belgium.
|Professor Tom Mortier|
A mentally-ill Belgian woman sought euthanasia to escape her problems. The doctors told her, sure, why not?How my mother died
Since 2002 a law was passed in Belgium that allowed people to be euthanised when they were suffering intractable and unbearable pain. Today euthanasia is more often granted to people suffering from mental illnesses like chronic depression, schizophrenia, chronic anorexia nervosa and borderline personality disorder, etc.
The law requires that a patient’s free decision has to be established before medical doctors can give the lethal injections.
The death of my mother has triggered a lot of questions. How is it possible that people can be euthanised in Belgium without close family or friends being contacted? Why does my country give medical doctors the exclusive power to decide over life and death? How do we judge what “unbearable suffering” is? What are the criteria to decide what “unbearable suffering” is? Can we rely on such a judgment for a mentally ill person?
Is it life or is it death?