Belgian Doctors on Trial for Euthanizing Woman With Psychiatric Issues, Stress From Breakup

Tine Nys
Tine Nys (center) with her sisters.

GHENT, Belgium — Three doctors are on trial in Belgium for unlawfully helping a woman end her life as her sisters note that she was dealing with ongoing psychiatric issues and had been depressed from a broken relationship.

Tine Nys, then 38, died in 2010 after she received a lethal injection. According to the BBC, her sisters, Lotte and Sophie, state that she had struggled with psychiatric issues from her youth and had once tried to kill herself.

They say that Nys had not received treatment for the past 15 years, and two months before she died, she was diagnosed with autism, but likewise was not provided with help for the condition. The sisters also state that the woman was dealing with stress following a breakup.

The three doctors, who are not being publicly identified, are accused of breaking the country’s euthanasia law as Nys did not have an “incurable disorder.” They include the psychiatrist who approved Nys’ euthanasia request and the doctor who administered the injection.

Nys’ sisters also take issue that the doctors compared the act with putting a pet out of its suffering and that the doctor who administered the poison had their father assist with her death.

“He … asked our father to hold the needle in her arm because he had forgotten to bring plasters,” they stated in 2016, according to the BBC. “When she had died, he asked our parents if they wanted to listen through the stethoscope to check [if] her heart had actually stopped beating.”

According to Jurist, jury selection began on Tuesday and the official indictment will be released on Friday. The doctors will have an opportunity to speak on Monday.

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As previously reported, a report released by the Federal Commission for Euthanasia Control and Evaluation in 2018 showed that euthanasia continues to increase in Belgium, with 4,337 Belgians opting to die — including three ill children — in 2016-2017.

While the majority of cases where people chose to end it all — 2,781 — involved cancer, hundreds of deaths were marked as being due to “polypathology,” or the sufferance of multiple health issues — many of which are common to the elderly, such as blindness, loss of hearing, incontinence, gait and mobility disorders, nervous system diseases, dementia and/or significant heart ailments.

77 Belgians with mental or behavioral issues also died by physician-assisted suicide during the report period.

In 2016, a man from the Netherlands who struggled with depression and became addicted to alcohol in seeking to soothe his sorrows died by a lethal injection.

“What someone suffering from alcoholism needs is support and treatment to get better from their addiction, which can be provided — not to be euthanized,” British MP Fiona Bruce, who also serves as co-chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Pro-Life Group, told the Daily Mail. “It is once again a troubling sign of how legalized euthanasia undermines in other countries the treatment and help the most vulnerable should receive.”

“Alcoholics, sex-abuse victims, and dementia sufferers also qualify and have died in [Belgium and the Netherlands],” lamented the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children. “When these most vulnerable groups are ‘helped’ to die, it is clear that no one is safe.”

As previously reported, Scripture outlines that God, not man, appoints the days of mankind (Job 14:5), and even before a person is born, He writes their times in His book.

“In Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them,” Psalm 139:16 reads.

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