The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg has just agreed to take up a case of euthanasia in Belgium.
Godelieve De Troyer was euthanised in 2012 by Wim Distelmans, a renowned Belgian oncologist. Tom Mortier, her son, criticises Belgium for “failing to sufficiently protect his mother’s life or conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances of her death“.
The fact that she was “seeing a psychiatrist” should have highlighted her as “a vulnerable person on medical grounds“, explains Robert Clarke, her lawyer. “The State had a duty of care but failed to demonstrate that duty. “
At the end of 2014, Tom Mortier filed a complaint against the oncologist, but it was dismissed in January 2018 by the Brussels Public Prosecutor’s Office, which closed the case without further action.