Belgium to execute rapist-murderer—at his request

Belgium to execute rapist-murderer—at his request September 15, 2014


From the BBC:

A Belgian man serving a life sentence for rape and murder will be allowed to have doctors end his life, after a landmark ruling.

Unable to control his violent sexual urges, Frank Van Den Bleeken, who is 50, argued he would never be freed.

The decision follows a three-year legal battle by the prisoner, who was convicted in the 1980s.

The ruling is the first involving a prisoner since the assisted dying law was introduced in Belgium 12 years ago.

Van Den Bleeken will soon be transferred to a hospital where the medical procedure will take place, his lawyers told reporters.

“But I cannot say when or where that will happen,” Jos Vander Velpen added.

Van Den Bleeken first requested euthanasia in 2011, citing “unbearable psychological anguish”, but Belgium’s Federal Euthanasia Commission wanted to consider every possible treatment option, before consenting to such a measure.

Another report explains: 

[Belgium’s] strict conditions for a mercy killing include that patients must be capable, conscious and have presented a “voluntary, considered and repeated” request to die.

Lawyer Vander Velpen said the sex offender met all legal conditions, and for the past four years had felt he “couldnt stand to live like this any longer and could no longer accept the pain”.

“I am a human being, and regardless of what I`ve done, I remain a human being. So, yes, give me euthanasia,” Van Den Bleeken said in comments on VRT Flemish Belgian television.

Van Den Bleeken, considering himself a menace to society, had refused to be considered for early parole, but found the conditions of his detention inhumane.

He had requested a transfer to a specialised psychiatric centre in The Netherlands for treatment or, failing that, a mercy killing.

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