Gold medallist paralympian from Belgium seeks euthanasia

Marieke VervoortThe end-of-life wishes of a gold medallist at the Paralympics have again raised the question of what makes a person eligible for euthanasia in Belgium.

  • Ed

    This gives me an idea. If these clinics were to name themselves “72 Virgins Express”…

  • Why did this guy even bother?

    His life is a rich one. He’s just quitting.

    • Millie_Woods

      It’s an analogy of Europe itself. From shining example of hope to suicidal despair.

    • Kathy Prendergast

      She’s a woman. I think the title of the article is a bit misleading. She hasn’t said she definitely wants to commit suicide, is just considering it somewhere down the road. She suffers from a lot of pain which she probably, quite reasonably, worries will eventually become uncontrollable. This is an issue for many people with painful degenerative diseases. They want to be able to maintain some sense of control over their lives and to have the final say in when enough is enough. It doesn’t mean they are succumbing to depression or “giving up”. I have serious ethical concerns about euthanasia but at the same time, I don’t think a healthy and able-bodied person is really entitled to judge the feelings and wishes of someone with a degenerative disease.

      • dukestreet

        I am not “a healthy and able-bodied person” and have suffered from severe pain for most of my life. In fact the medications i must take to get through the day, continue to compound the increasingly difficult health issues I have piled on top of the ones I was born with. Yet, there are always people who are living in far worse circumstances than me. When they manage to live, giving of themselves to their communities and contributing to the lives of others in spite of the daily challenges they face, living with grace and love. These are the people who deserve and earn my respect.
        This woman has found a viable outlet for her pain, why should she not continue doing it if it works so well. She has much to live for but has already started giving up. We don’t really have control over our lives. Any second you can be hit by a car or have a heart attack. Then you may be gone or disabled even more. I don’t find her a very good example. Instead of creating another goal to help her continue to contribute,she is preparing to give up.,

        • G

          “These are the people who deserve and earn my respect”

          You’re right, they do.
          and you deserve respect for the admirable attitude you have adopted.
          We all get depressed and weary of life’s futility. It’s human nature and this feeling has been around since the cave men I’m sure.
          But it takes courage to push on (as you have).

          I admire those who push on and I respect the decisions of those who decide to end it. But I have very little respect for those who decide to end it but expect someone else to do the dirty work for them.
          If these assholes want off themselves, let them get their own hands bloody.

        • Kathy Prendergast

          Everyone deals with illness and pain differently. To qualify my statement, I don’t really believe anyone is in the position to judge the feelings and desires of someone with a painful and incurable illness, even if you have one yourself. It’s great that you are coping so well, but you can’t demand that every other person like you act as an inspiration for you. If you don’t find her a “very good example”, they don’t pay any attention to her, and focus on models who inspire you more. Ultimately, she will do what she wants, whether you like it or not.

          • dukestreet

            I don’t make these “judgements’ as you call them lightly. if you did research,you would find that the countries that have had assisted suicide for a while have so broadened the definition over the years that there is no longer the protections in place that were originally part of the process and that people are using it and officials granting it,without even bothering to use the methods to treat illness,that are readily available. The same way that abortion has no laws in Canada, so it is legal to abort a baby on the day it should be born.

            This is the way of society and is a very slippery slope, that completely degrades the value of human life. Not all that long ago, a set of twins were euthanized for depression. Also, children have been euthanized. The government sanction of it makes it much more easily accessed. These are problems not being handled well.
            In addition, why should taxpayers be required to pay for it? Canada is in much more serious financial difficulty than many realize. Many treatments and tests that are needed to keep people healthy are now paid for by the individuals themselves, even though in many circumstances they can’t afford it. Suicide is no longer illegal in Canada bur, we should not have to pay for it when we are already being denied life saving treatments, because our health system can’t afford them.
            Also, if you have ever known someone who has committed suicide or been involved in the counseling of family members, you would know that it seriously and permanently affects the family and friends of those who chose to do it, assisted or not.

      • G

        When you expect a government that also presides over me and charges taxes to me to assist a person into killing themselves it makes it MY BUSINESS so am I “entitled to judge” this person?

        I don’t really care whether I am “entitled to” or not.
        I’m doing it anyway. – Why? Because some elitist, fat ass, pompous judge thinks they are “entitled to” ram doctor assisted suicide down everybody’s throats.

        • Kathy Prendergast

          So do you think it’s OK if she pays for it herself?

      • It already is a legal option and it’s a regressive and cruel thing to inflict on society as a whole.

        Why look for cures and treatments when it’s cheaper and easier to off people?

        I am not insensitive to the pain and despair people feel but they are not the only ones and these laws make things worse for everyone else who chooses to soldier on and finish their natural life spans with actual dignity, not defeat.

        • Kathy Prendergast

          When you have the experience of being at the bedside of a loved one who is crying from pain and begging the doctor to do anything to end it, saying they are tired of life and have had enough and just want to go – which I and many in my family have had; it’s a part of growing older, confronting the harsh reality of helping people you love deal with the inevitable end of life – you may not be so harsh in your judgments.

          • Re-read my post above.

            Yes, pain and suffering is tragic and terrible but so is passing a law that snowballs into all-out snuffing of everyone else.

  • G

    I’m sure the doctor would prescribe him pain killers with no questions asked. Bottle of pain killers, bottle of whiskey, job is done.
    Why does he need society’s permission to off himself?
    Doctor assisted suicide is for those too gutless to make their own arrangements.

    • Kathy Prendergast

      Committing suicide without a doctor’s assistance is not as easy as it sounds, which is why doctor-assisted suicide became an issue in the first place. Attempts at suicide with narcotics often result not in death but, at best, in the body expelling the narcotics before they can do any serious damage and leaving the person feeling extremely sick, and at worst, in brain damage which leaves people severely disabled or in a coma or a persistent vegetative state.

      • dukestreet

        I don’t necessarily agree, I know a number of my friends and relatives were successful at suicide. Most of them were teenagers and managed to choose a method that guaranteed success. Many people do it successfully, without any help or permission from the state. you just have to make sure you do so with a sure method & when & where other will not rescue you.

      • G

        If this guy were serious he could do a little bit of internet research and use the narcotics in an effective manner.

        If this bozo wants to kill himself he is quite capable of doing so without blubbering to the courts or the state about his precious “rights” as has been done in Canada.
        If somebody wants to kill themselves they don’t need to whine to a lawyer.
        My statement about being too gutless still stands.

        • Justin St.Denis

          G, I have to agree with your take.

  • Tweety58

    Don’t you dare make me complicit in your suicide.