Date
14 December 2017
Belgian convict Frank Van Den Bleeken argued that he could not control his violent sexual urges and he would never be freed. Photo: BBC
Belgian convict Frank Van Den Bleeken argued that he could not control his violent sexual urges and he would never be freed. Photo: BBC

Belgian murderer wins ‘right to die’

A Belgian court has issued a landmark ruling allowing a man serving a life sentence for rape and murder to have doctors end his life.

The decision follows a three-year legal battle by the prisoner, Frank Van Den Bleeken, now 50, who argued that he could not control his violent sexual urges and he would never be freed, BBC News reported.

The ruling is the first involving a prisoner since the assisted dying law was introduced in Belgium 12 years ago, the report said.

Van Den Bleeken will soon be transferred to a hospital where the medical procedure will take place, his lawyers told reporters, but said he could not say when and where it will happen.

Van Den Bleeken first requested euthanasia in 2011, citing “unbearable psychological anguish”, but the Federal Euthanasia Commission wanted to consider every possible treatment option, before consenting to such a measure, according to the news service.

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CG

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