After an initial decision allowing the Belgian rapist who wanted euthanasia rather than spend life in jail to kill himself rather than endure prison, authorities have overturned the decision.
Frank Van Den Bleeken, who has spent the past 30 years in jail for repeated rape convictions and a rape murder wanted to be euthanized to avoid the remainder of his sentence. Van Den Bleeken had for years requested that the state help him end his life due to what his lawyer Jos Vander Velpen called “unbearable” psychological suffering. He received permission to do so last September and the euthanasia was planned for January 11.
Now that decision has been reversed. He will instead be moved from his prison in the northwestern city of Bruges to a new psychiatric treatment centre in Ghent, Justice Minister Koen Geens said.
The report sparked complaints from human rights activists that Belgium was flouting its own euthanasia laws by failing to provide proper treatment for such cases.
Geens said in a statement he “takes note of the decision of doctors treating Mr Frank Van Den Bleeken to no longer continue the euthanasia procedure.”
He gave no reason for the decision, citing medical privacy.
Lawyer Vander Velpen said last year the sex offender met all legal conditions, and for the last few years had felt he “couldn’t 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 at the time 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.
As pro-life bioethicist Wesley Smith responded:
I call cases such as this, “cruel and unusual death with dignity.” The irony is sharp enough to shatter bones.
Here’s the lesson: Once the monster breaks its chain, there are no real limits to euthanasia consciousness.