European human rights court to hear landmark case over mom euthanized for depression

By The Christian Post

A photo of the judges of the European Court of Human Rights sitting in the courtroom during a hearing. | Reuters/Vincent Kessler

The European Court of Human Rights has agreed to take on the legal case of a man who objects to the fact that his mother was euthanized in 2012 after years of depression.

The ECHR, based in Strasbourg, France, will consider the case brought forward by Belgium resident Tom Mortier.

According to Mortier, his mother — Godelieva De Troyer — was 64 years old when she was given a lethal injection by a doctor simply because she couldn’t bear her depression. Mortier maintains that doctors and hospital staff didn’t provide notice to him or his siblings until a day after their mother had died.

Alliance Defending Freedom International, which has filed an application to represent Mortier, explains that Mortier’s case is eligible to be heard by the continent's top human rights court because Belgian authorities have refused to pursue his case.

According to Mortier, his mother had severe mental health problems and dealt with depression throughout much of her life. As she was treated by psychiatrists, Mortier admits that contact between himself and his mother had been broken until years later when he found out that his mother had been euthanized.

“International law has never established a so-called ‘right to die.’ On the contrary, it solidly affirms the right to life — particularly for the most vulnerable among us,” ADF International Director of European Advocacy Robert Clarke, who is handling Mortier’s case, said in a statement. “We welcome the decision of the court to hear this precedent-setting case, the sad facts of which expose the lie that euthanasia is good for society.”

The appeal to the European Court of Human Rights represents the son’s only chance to seek justice for the loss of his mother, according to ADF.

The plaintiff alleges that when De Troyer’s doctor of 20 years refused to approve her euthanasia request in September 2011, she sought the help of other physicians.

One of those physicians was allegedly Dr. Wim Distelmans, who co-chairs Belgium’s euthanasia review commission.

According to a court statement, Mortier alleges that his mother donated the equivalent of $2,860 to a foundation that Distelmans co-founded called the Life End Information Forum before her euthanasia request was carried out.

“The donation gives rise to an apparent conflict of interest,” ADF argued. “No one contacted Mortier before his mother’s death even though, Mortier says, her depression was not only largely the result of a break-up with a man, but also due to her feelings of distance from her family.”

Source:The Christian Post