a victim chooses euthanasia due to his psychological suffering

JULIÁN DE ROSA / AFP Unable to recover from the trauma experienced during the Brussels airport attack, Shanti De Corte resorted to euthanasia. (illustrative photo)

JULIÁN DE ROSA / AFP

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

BELGIUM – This is a difficult but important story emanating from the Belgian press this Wednesday, October 5. At just 23 years old, Shanti De Corte decided to resort to euthanasia, after a long therapeutic and hospital journey to try to recover from the attack that occurred before her eyes in the departure hall of Brussels National Airport.

According to RTBF, the young Flemish woman chose to end her life, surrounded by her family on May 7, 2022, almost six years after witnessing one of the Brussels attacks on March 22, 2016, at Brussels National Airport. Emerging unscathed from this terrorist attack that killed 18 people (including two terrorists) and injured at least 92, the young woman went a long way to recover from this traumatic episode, to no avail.

Questioned by the Belgian media, the Federal Commission for the Control and Evaluation of Euthanasia explains that the law has been respected and that the ” young man was in such psychic suffering that his request was logically accepted”. Still according to the newspaper, a judicial investigation has been opened into this euthanasia in the Antwerp prosecutor’s office, without the information being confirmed at the moment.

Serious psychological problems before the attack”

On that defining day in March 2016 in Shanti De Corte’s life, she was due to catch a plane for a school trip to Rome. A trip that she will never make and that will become a long way of the cross for the Flemish woman, traumatized by the attack.

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

Quickly, Shanti is admitted to a psychiatric structure to treat her psychic suffering. ” With all the medication I’m taking, I feel like a ghost who doesn’t feel anything anymore. There may be other solutions besides drugs.”she then wrote on her Facebook wall, already used to this kind of stay in psychiatry even before the airport attack.

“Now I will go in peace”

Shanti De Corte’s convalescence takes on another dimension between 2018 and 2020. Victim of an attempted sexual assault by a patient in the hospital where she is hospitalized, this does not prevent her from raising her voice to give testimony of her journey. Ups and downs that will finally lead the young woman to attempt suicide in 2020, before moving on” several requests for euthanasia due to unalterable mental suffering”, all denied.

It was in April 2022 that Shanti presented a new “Request for euthanasia due to irrevocable psychiatric illness”. An application finally accepted before its launch in early May. Putting a definitive end to his deep suffering.

I laughed and cried. Until the last day. I loved and was allowed to feel what true love was. Now I will go in peace. I know I miss you already.” she delivers as a final message on her Facebook account, which also served as a record book in her life.

A recourse to euthanasia that nevertheless provokes some debate in Belgium, after Shanti’s refusal to participate in a therapeutic week organized in Ostend by another victim of the 2016 attack.I had nothing to lose by accepting the care offered by the Ostend therapeutic team” estimates CHU Brugman neurologist Paul Deltenre, linked to Shanti’s medical file.

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