Belgian man fights for justice in the euthanasia death of his depressed mother

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The lawyers for Tom Mortier have submitted in the European Court of Human Rights a challenge to the Belgian euthanasia law based on the death of Mortier’s depressed mother.

In an article  published in Actuall.com, Nicolás de Cárdenas interviews Robert Clarke, the legal representatives for Mortier who is seeking justice in the 2012 euthanasia death of his depressed mother Godelieve De Troyer.

Cárdenas reported (google translated from Spanish):

Mortier was informed the day after his mother had been euthanized with the explanation that she had been suffering from “intractable depression.” Godelieva De Troyer was a 64-year-old woman in good physical health but had a history of depression-related problems.

Clarke  states:

“International law has never established the so-called ‘right to die.’ Rather, it firmly affirms the right to life, especially for the most vulnerable among us. A look at the tragic facts of this case exposes the lie that euthanasia is good for society. The sick, the suffering, the elderly and the vulnerable in our society deserve the utmost respect and care. As this case reaches its final stage, we hope it will give Tom a little justice and help protect others” 

Tom Mortier’s mother “was physically healthy and her treating psychiatrist in her 20s did not believe that she met the legal requirements of Belgian euthanasia law. However, she was euthanized in 2012 by an oncologist with no known psychiatric qualifications.”

Cárdenas reported that the euthanasia doctor, Wim Distelmans, also authorized other controversial euthanasia cases such as that of 45-year-old deaf twins and a 44-year-old woman whose sex change operation had failed. Distelmans is the co-chair of the Federal Monitoring and Evaluation Committee that is charged with studying cases of euthanasia in Belgium.

Editor’s note. This appears on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.