A victim decides to use euthanasia because of their psychological distress

JULIAN DE ROSA / AFP Unable to recover from the trauma she suffered during the Brussels airport attack, Shanti De Corte resorted to euthanasia. (illustration photo)


Unable to recover from the trauma she suffered during the Brussels airport attack, Shanti De Corte resorted to euthanasia. (illustration photo)

BELGIUM – This is a difficult but important story coming out of the Belgian press this Wednesday, October 5th. At the age of just 23, after a long trip for therapy and hospital to recover from the attack that happened before her eyes in the departures hall of Brussels Airport, Shanti De Corte decided to undergo euthanasia.

As reported by RTBF, on May 7, 2022, surrounded by her family, the young Flemish decided to end her life, almost six years after witnessing one of the attacks in Brussels on March 22, 2016 at Brussels National Airport was. The young woman who survived unscathed this terrorist attack that killed 18 people (including two terrorists) and injured at least 92, had to travel a long way to recover from this traumatic episode, in vain.

Questioned by the Belgian media, the Federal Commission for the Control and Evaluation of Euthanasia states that the law has been observed and that the ” young girl was in such mental distress that her request was logically accepted”. According to the newspaper, however, a judicial investigation into this euthanasia has been opened at the Antwerp Public Prosecutor’s Office, without the information being able to be confirmed for the time being.

Severe psychological problems before the attack”

On this pivotal day in March 2016 in Shanti De Corte’s life, she had to board a plane for a school trip to Rome. A journey that she will never make and that will become a long crossroads for the Flemish woman traumatized by the attack.

“Some students react worse than others to traumatic events. And after interviewing her twice, I can tell you that Shanti De Corte was one of those fragile students. It is clear to me that she had serious psychological problems even before the attack. So I referred her to psychiatry.”tells RTBF the school psychologist who looked after the students after the alleged attack by the Islamic State.

Shanti is quickly admitted to a psychiatric facility to treat her mental illness. ” With all the medication I’m taking, I feel like a ghost that doesn’t feel anything anymore. There may have been solutions other than drugs.”she then wrote on her Facebook wall, already used to this kind of stay in the psychiatric ward before the airport attack.

“I’ll go in peace now”

Shanti De Corte’s recovery takes on another dimension between 2018 and 2020. Being the victim of an attempted sexual assault by a patient at the hospital where she is detained does not prevent her from witnessing her journey. Ups and downs that will eventually make the young girl try to kill herself in 2020 before moving on. multiple requests for euthanasia due to unchanging mental distress,” all declined.

In April 2022, Shanti submitted a new one “Request for Euthanasia Due to Irrevocable Psychiatric Disorder”. An application that was finally accepted before it was implemented in early May. Putting a final end to his deep suffering.

I laughed and I cried. Until the very last day. I loved and was allowed to feel what true love is. I will now go in peace. Know that I already miss you.” she delivers as the last message on her Facebook account, which also served as a log in her life.

A resort to euthanasia, but one which is sparking some debate in Belgium after Shanti refused to take part in a therapeutic week organized by another victim of the 2016 attack in Ostend.There was nothing to lose by accepting the care of the Ostend therapeutic team.” estimates neurologist at CHU Brugman Paul Deltenre, who is linked to Shanti’s medical record.

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