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Belgium: A child who was not informed of his mother’s euthanasia lodges a complaint

Publié le : 11 April 2014

 On 20 April 2012, a man learned that his mother had been given a lethal injection the day before at the Dutch-speaking university hospital, UZ Brussels. She had been suffering from chronic depression.

According to the plaintiff’s lawyer, Mr. Samuel Vinck, "numerous factors prove that the law was not correctly applied when dealing with the patient’s request for euthanasia". In this case, euthanasia was administered by Wim Distelmans, doctor and Chairman of the Euthanasia Control Committee in Belgium. The patient’s children were not informed of this procedure and therefore "my client is entitled to ask the competent authorities to investigate the matter," explained the lawyer.

A spokesperson for UZ Brussels commented as follows: "All we can say at the moment is that it’s not a bad thing for the case to come before the court. […] There is constant media coverage and that isn’t a good thing for any of the parties involved. The Public Prosecutor’s Department will deal with this case once and for all."            
This is the first time that a complaint has been made about Wim Distelmans, who is "considered a ‘pioneer’ in this field". 

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