Belgium: Shanti, victim of Brussels attacks, was euthanized at 23

On March 22, 2016, Shanti De Corte, 17, was scheduled to fly to Rome for a graduation trip. She was in the airport hall with her classmates when terrorists detonated bombs just meters from her. The teenager escaped with no physical injuries. But she never recovered from the trauma. Last May, the Fleming was euthanized in Belgium surrounded by her family, several Belgian media, including RTBF, report.

After several requests for euthanasia were rejected, the young woman finally “went in peace”. “I laughed and cried until the last day,” she wrote on her Facebook page as an epitaph (the content was deleted on Thursday). I loved and was allowed to feel what true love is. (…) I will go in peace now, knowing that I already miss you. »

Shanti De Corte has been trying to get out of this for years. A few weeks after the attacks in Brussels at the airport and in the subway, which cost the lives of 32 people, the teenager is admitted to a psychiatric facility. She commutes back and forth in the hospital, swallowing up to eleven antidepressants at breakfast. “I couldn’t do without it,” she admits to Facebook, which she uses as a diary.

When things get better, Shanti is full of projects and tells the press she wants to “live and help others. Become the living proof that you can recover from anything, from depression and trauma. Those moments never lasted long. She attempted suicide in 2020. Her drug treatment increased. Those around her are concerned: Shanti has already made several requests for euthanasia because of constant mental illness. All declined.

The young woman declined an offer of care

Alarmed by this situation, a therapist from Ostend offers the young girl care, reports RTBF. “I have been informed that Shanti was suffering from complex trauma and that the only solution she has been offered so far is that her request for euthanasia be accepted, she wrote to the psychiatrist who is supervising her. Without obviously calling this solution into question a priori, my experience in victimology raises some questions in me. For this reason I would like to meet Shanti, if you agree, when I am in Ostend the week of April 25th. »

But Shanti De Corte’s psychiatrist rejects the proposal. “Dear Ms. Neyrolles, I have forwarded your suggestion to the patient and the medical team caring for her,” she replied. Mademoiselle De Corte asks me to tell you that she is not interested in your proposal. »

The student then contacts Leif, an association that defends the right to a dignified death. Last April she made a new request for euthanasia because of irreversible mental illness. This time two psychiatrists confirm it.

“The young girl was in such a mental state that her application was logically accepted,” explains the Federal Commission for the Control and Evaluation of Euthanasia RTBF. A judicial investigation into the euthanasia of Shanti De Corte would have been opened at the Antwerp Public Prosecutor’s Office. Contacted by the Belgian media, the prosecutor’s office did not confirm the information.

That story resurfaces as the European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday condemned Brussels for a “failure” in post-euthanasia control. Belgium and the Netherlands were the first two European countries to approve euthanasia, death caused by a caregiver at the request of a patient, 20 years ago.

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