The Death Treatment and Dalhousie Students

A recent New Yorker article, written by Rachel Aviv, has reinvigorated debates around euthanasia and assisted suicide. “The Death Treatment” is about Tom Mortier and his mother, 64 year-old Godelieva De Troyer. Events unfolded in Belgium, where euthanasia is legal.

The story is well known to those of us who follow healthcare. De Troyer suffered from depression for most of her adult life, playing devotee to a series of psychiatrists. Her last setback, triggered by the end of a romantic relationship, led her to seek help of the more permanent sort: instead of treating her depression with medication, she asked to be euthanized. She was inspired after attending a lecture by palliative physician and euthanasia champion, Wim Distelmans.