A well known convicted rapist and murderer in Belgium who has been imprisoned for almost three decades has been granted the right to die after doctors agreed his psychological condition was incurable.
The decision was approved by Belgium’s justice minister, the convicted man Frank Van Den Bleeken’s is expected to be transfered to a hospital where doctors will end his life, the official said.
Mr Van Den Bleeken’s lawyer, Jos Vander Velpen, told Belgian television reporters that his client was “suffering unbearably”. It is thought that the prisoner is unable to control his sexual urges, and the convict had no prospect of leaving prison.
Mr Vander Velpen was quoted as saying his client was “suffering unbearably” because of his severe psychiatric condition, seeing himself as a danger to society. “He can no longer live like that,” the lawyer strongly suggested.
The official refused to discuss when the medically assisted suicide would take place.
Belgium, along with the rest of the EU member nations, do not invoke the death penalty.
Mr Van Den Bleeken is understood to have requested a transfer to a specialised psychiatric centre in the Netherlands for treatment or, failing that, a mercy killing.
Belgian authorities categorically denied the transfer request earlier this year. Although it is now believed that an agreement to carry out the assisted suicide was accepted by an appeals court in Brussels on Monday.
Euthanasia for the terminally ill is generally accepted in Belgium.Euthanasia is allowed in Belgium since 2002 in cases where patients’ physical or psychological suffering is incurable and constant. Some 1,400 people year are understood to choose the option.