by Alex Schadenberg – Jan 02, 2014 13:02 EST
The Globe and Mail has reported that Frank van den Bleeken, a convicted rapist and murderer in Belgium has asked to die by lethal injection, not capital punishment, but euthanasia.
The Quebec government is currently debating Bill 52, a bill that would legalize euthanasia based on the Belgian euthanasia law.
According to the Globe and Mail article:
Mr. van den Bleeken (50) committed several rapes in the port of Antwerp in the late 1980s, killing one victim, a 19-year-old woman.
At his trial, he was found to be not criminally responsible and was committed to the psychiatric wing of Merksplas, an aging penal complex near Antwerp.
The article explains that Mr. van den Bleeken’s case is further complicated because he claims to be a victim of systemic failings of the Belgian penal system. The article states:
Belgium has been cited several times by the European Court of Human Rights for failing to provide appropriate care to inmates with mental disorders. In January, the court ruled in favour of three Belgian inmates and ordered damages be paid, citing a “structural shortcoming” that resulted in about 1,000 prisoners with mental problems being held in aging, overcrowded, inadequately staffed special prison wings.
One option Mr. van den Bleeken and his lawyer sought was his transfer to a Dutch forensic psychiatric clinic. Belgium already has an agreement with the Netherlands to transfer prisoners to alleviate overcrowding, Mr. Van Der Velpen said.
However, officials said there were no protocols to admit a Belgian detainee to a foreign forensic psychiatric clinic.
Mr. van den Bleeken and Justice Minister Annemie Turtelboom are now locked in a court fight over the issue.
Mr. van den Bleeken’s still unresolved case is the latest controversial example of applicants who are not terminally ill but suffer psychological pains.
There has been at least one Belgian prisoner lethally injected for psychological reasons. The article stated that several more prisoners have requested death by euthanasia.
The Globe and Mail article stated that cases, such as this, represent a “slippery slope” for the Belgian euthanasia law. All of this is occurring in a nation that prohibits capital punishment.
Euthanasia is out of control in Belgium.
A study that was published in the CMAJ June, 2010 found that 32% of all assisted deaths in the Flemish region of Belgium are done without explicit request. A similar study that was published in the CMAJ June, 2010 found that 45% of euthanasia deaths involving nurses in Belgium were done without explicit request.
The study found that the demographic group that was most likely to die by an assisted death without request was someone who was over the age of 80, who was incapable of consenting, had an unpredictable end-of-life trajectory and died in the hospital. The first study concluded that the findings:
“fits the description of a vulnerable patient group at risk of life-ending without request.”
A study that was published in the BMJ Oct 2010 concluded that euthanasia deaths are significantly under-reported in the Flemish region of Belgium. The study found that only 52.8% of assisted deaths in the Flemish region of Belgium were reported. That means that 47.2% of all assisted deaths were not reported.
Many people claim that the Belgian euthanasia law is controlled, and yet the data indicates that many euthanasia deaths are never reported.
Belgian government statistics indicate that the number of reported assisted deaths increased from 1133 in 2011 to 1432 in 2012, representing a 25% increase over the previous year and 2% of all deaths in Belgium. The number of reported assisted deaths in 2010 was 954. It is important to note that these statistics do not include the unreported assisted deaths.
Data indicates that many assisted deaths are being done without request and are not reported. This proves that the actual practice of euthanasia is not accurately represented in the Belgium government report.
Last January, it was reported that Belgian identical twins, Marc and Eddy Verbessem, were euthanized, with the approval of Distelmans, because they feared becoming blind.
In February, it was reported that a woman with Anorexia Nervosa died by euthanasia.
In February, Tom Mortier wrote about the euthanasia death of his depressed mother in April 2012. Mortier stated:
How is it possible that people can be euthanised in Belgium without close family or friends being contacted?
Why does my country give medical doctors the exclusive power to decide over life and death?
What are the criteria to decide what “unbearable suffering” is?
Can we rely on such a judgment for a mentally ill person?
In September, a person, who was not physically ill, died by euthanasia after a botched sex-change operation.
The Belgium government is currently debating the expansion of euthanasia to include teenagers, infants, children with disabilities and people with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. The main reason for expanding the criteria for euthanasia in Belgium is that doctors want to change the law because they are breaking the law already.
The statement that euthanasia in Belgium has not experienced an expansion, or a slippery slope, is obviously false.
The Belgium euthanasia law has undergone a series of incremental extensions from turning a blind eye to acts that were originally considered unacceptable, to expanding the definition for psychological suffering to expanding euthanasia to include children with questionable consent to allowing euthanasia for people with dementia who cannot consent.
Bill 52, the Quebec government euthanasia bill, is based on the Belgian euthanasia law. Bill 52 is dangerous, it is bad medicine for people with disabilities, and Bill 52 is not safe.
Learn more about the practice of euthanasia and assisted suicide in Belgium and the Netherlands by buying the book: Exposing Vulnerable People to Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide. Exposing Vulnerable People examines the data from recent studies and publishes the facts that the media is not willing to publish and that the euthanasia lobby ignore.
Reprinted with permission from Alex Schadenberg’s blog.
All of this is occurring in a nation that prohibits capital punishment.