Imagine choosing to die when you don’t have a terminal illness. Is it a choice we should have? A powerful Dateline special gets rare access to film the journeys of two people in Belgium – going behind the most liberal euthanasia laws in the world
MercatorNet – Michael Cook 21 September 2015
This documentary from the Australian SBS network is one of the best on Belgian euthanasia that I have seen. Although short on statistics and background, it gives an insight into its disturbing ethical dilemmas. Journalist Brett Mason interviews two patients about their request for euthanasia and asks a number of doctors and public figures whether the increasing number of cases for unbearable suffering can be justified.
Peter Ketelslegers is a 33-year-old father of two who suffers from cluster headaches. This condition – according to Belgian doctors – is untreatable. The pain is so intense that he can no longer work. He feels that he should die so that he won’t be a burden to his boys and his wife.
Simona de Moor is 85, physically fit and mentally sharp. But five minutes after her beloved daughter died, she decided on euthanasia. Mason films her “mundane and unremarkable” last moments as she drinks a lethal potion brought by her doctor, Marc Van Hoey. A dark family problem overshadows her life; she has another daughter from whom she has been estranged for decades and whom she will not inform about her death.