By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
Jeremy Gahagan reported for BBC news on March 3 that Genevieve Lhermitte, who killed her five children in 2007, died by euthanasia in Belgium on February 28, the same day that she killed her children 16 years earlier. Gahagan writes
Genevieve Lhermitte killed her son and four daughters, aged three to 14, in the town of Nivelles on 28 February 2007, while their father was away.
She then tried to take her own life but failed, and ended up calling emergency services for help.
The 56-year-old was sentenced to life in prison in 2008, before being moved to a psychiatric hospital in 2019.
Gahagan reported that Lhermite died by euthanasia based on psychological suffering. The report stated:
In Belgium the law allows for people to choose to be euthanised if they are deemed to be suffering from “unbearable” psychological, and not just physical, suffering that cannot be healed.
The person must be conscious of their decision and be able to express their wish in a reasoned and consistent manner.
Lhermitte died on February 28.
Psychologist Emilie Maroit told the RTL-TVI channel that Lhermitte likely chose to die on 28 February in a “symbolic gesture in respect for her children”.
“It may also have been for her to finish what she started, because basically she wanted to end her life when she killed them,” the psychologist said.
In March 2021 Canada expanded the euthanasia law to include euthanasia for mental illness that included a two year moratorium for implementation. Recently the Canadian government introduced Bill C-39 to delay the implementation of euthanasia for mental illness until March 17, 2024.
Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and reposted with permission.