Laura-Emily, the 24 year-old Belgian girl who should have undergone euthanasia on 24 September due to “uncontrollable, intolerable and therefore incurable mental suffering” has eventually decided to continue to live. This was revealed in “24 & ready to die”, an English documentary “produced by a journalist working for The Economist”. The documentary followed Laura as she prepared to undergo euthanasia, and continued right up until the procedure was to be performed. The documentary shows three doctors outlining the procedure to her and informing her that she could stop the process at any time.
As Dr. Proot was about to carry out the procedure, Laura stated, “I cannot do it”. She explained that, “These last two weeks have been relatively tolerable. There weren’t any episodes. It’s not very clear to me. Did something change in me or did something happen to make this tolerable? I tried not to think about the truth any more (i.e. that it would be better if I no longer existed). I’ll look towards the future”.
Health care professionals who gave their view in a Carte Blanche session in Le Soir on 10 September confirmed that this type of last minute refusal was common because, “There are also lots of people who, after a very long and very difficult journey suddenly get themselves back on track – not always because of treatment administered elsewhere but sometimes due to unforeseen events”.
In Laura’s case, she “no doubt summoned up the strength to ask herself whether or not she was capable of determining what constituted uncontrollable and incurable mental suffering”.
Institut Européen de Bioéthique (13/11/2015)