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October 17, 2019

Healthy 23-Year-Old Woman Trying to Expand Belgium's Already-Loose Euthanasia Laws, Saying She Should Be Allowed to Die Because She Just Can't Even

We used to trudge carefully over slippery slopes.

Now we're skiing down them shouting "YOLO!"

'It won't hurt so I don't see the problem,' she says.

'It is like going to sleep, and for the first time in my life it will be quick. I won't be lying in bed waiting for it to come.'

In almost every place on the planet, this would be a huge problem. But Belgium is one of three countries that permit such euthanasia, making no distinction between 'unbearable' physical and mental pain. The other two are Holland and Luxembourg.

Yet even in Belgium -- which, 17 years ago, became the world's second country to sanction euthanasia and the first to legalise it for children -- psychiatric cases remain controversial, especially when they involve someone as young as Kelly. Mental health patients account for about three per cent of the 17,000 people killed since the law was changed in this country of 11 million citizens. There were 2,357 deaths last year -- ten times as many as in the first year euthanasia was legal in Belgium -- and most involved elderly people.

Many psychiatrists and most Belgians oppose extension of euthanasia to mental health cases. Some experts argue diagnosis is subjective, unlike severe physical illness, and insist the lives of distressed younger patients can improve with time, therapy and medication.

Yet Kelly, whose birthday is this week, plans to die as soon as legally possible so has no time for such arguments. 'It feels like discrimination,' she said. 'It makes me angry. It's just not fair. They don't understand the pain.

'People look at me and see someone so young but I feel bad inside all the time. It is not the age that is important but the suffering of the person.'

The article says that she is the introverted twin sister of an extrovert, and her twin's liveliness and social ease made her further withdrawn. She says she's now plagued by "crippling" shyness.

Sympathies for a troubled person, but this doesn't seem like a state-authorized suicide level complaint.


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posted by Ace of Spades at 04:13 PM

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