Ivo Poppe, a former nurse and Catholic Deacon, is on trial in Bruges Belgium for killing patients in a health clinic in Menin Belgium. News reports state that he admitted to killing 10 – 20 patients but prosecutors are suggesting that he may have killed up to 50 people.
Poppe was originally arrested in early 2014 after he confided to his psychiatrist that he had “euthanised dozens of people.”
This case is similar to the Wetlaufer case in Canada who was also arrested after telling her psychiatrist that she had killed patients.
According to news reports Poppe allegedly killed his first victim in 1978 and his last alleged victim may have been his own mother who died in 2011. The guardian reported that investigators examined 65 suspicious deaths and Poppe admitted to killing his mother, his step-father and two uncles.
Belgium legalized a very permissive form of euthanasia in 1992 and yet Poppe continued killing patients until 2011. This case once again proves that legalizing euthanasia does not prevent clandestine euthanasia. Further to that, euthanasia without explicit consent is somewhat common in Belgium.
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (March 19, 2015) titled: Recent Trends in Euthanasia and Other End-of-Life Practices in Belgium found that 1.7% of all deaths in the first 6 months on 2013 were euthanasia without explicit request.
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The trial of Ivo Poppe is expected to last two weeks.