a survivor of the Brussels attacks who was put to sleep at 23 due to mental illness

The young woman, who had been taking antidepressants for many years, remained deeply traumatized by the attack and a sexual assault she was the victim of.

A broken fate. Shanti De Corte, a 23-year-old young woman who had been the victim of intense mental suffering for many years, was euthanized last May with the consent of the medical profession, surrounded by her family, several Belgian media outlets, including RTBF, announced on Thursday.

The long Way of the Cross for this young Flemish began on March 22, 2016 at Zaventem Airport in Brussels. The then 17-year-old young woman was supposed to fly to Italy for a graduation trip. On the same day, two suicide bombers detonated their bombs inside the building, killing 16 people.

If Shanti is not physically injured in this attack while she was only meters away from the blast, the teenager will be mentally affected and will never recover. Hospitalized in a psychiatric facility, she received strong antidepressants and attempted suicide in 2020. During her hospitalization in 2018, she was also the victim of a sexual assault at the hands of another patient.

too much suffering

Due to the increasing suffering, several doctors complied with his request for assisted suicide. “I laughed and cried until the last day. I loved and was allowed to feel what true love is. I will now go in peace knowing that I already miss you,” she wrote on her Facebook page in a deleted post Thursday.

When asked by RTBF, the Federal Commission for the Control and Assessment of Euthanasia explained its decision to grant the young woman’s application.

“She was in such mental distress that logically her request was granted,” we read.

“She was hospitalized several times, she took dozens of medicines. The months, the years pass, we do not notice any improvement, she spoke, if I am not mistaken on my part, of suicide. She could not take it anymore, her life became to hell for her. The psychiatrists, after several consultations, told themselves that they were at the end of their tether and that she was incurable,” confirms Yves de Locht, general practitioner in Brussels, on our antenna.

Statutory euthanasia in Belgium since 2002

In Belgium, euthanasia has been permitted since May 28, 2002 if it is “voluntary, deliberate, repeated” and “without external pressure”. According to the legislation, during this procedure, which can be performed in a hospital setting or at home, it is a doctor who administers a lethal dose to the patient.

In 2021, the country recorded 2,700 euthanasia cases, or 2.4% of the total number of deaths. The majority were people between the ages of 60 and 89. In 84% of cases, death was expected “soon”.

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