Name: Tine Nys
Died: April 24, 2010
Age at death: 38
Cause of death: Suicide by euthanasia
Tine Nys, a 38-year-old Belgian woman, had recently broken up with a serious boyfriend, and she was grieving the loss. At the time, she had a history of psychological problems, though she had been doing well and hadn’t needed a psychologist for fifteen years. But the breakup triggered an episode of depression which Tine found herself unable to overcome.
Euthanasia is legal in Belgium for anyone with an incurable condition, including psychiatric conditions; someone seeking euthanasia must get the approval of three doctors and must have an incurable illness. Tine, who had depression, which is curable, found a doctor to diagnose her with autism, which is not. That same doctor then approved her euthanasia.
Tine, at her own request, was euthanized by lethal injection.
Whether Tine was actually autistic may never be known. However, it was the diagnosis of autism which made her eligible for euthanasia, and it was the doctors who labeled her autistic who could not see that what was making her want to die was her episodic and curable depression–not her life-long possible autism.
Although Tine chose death for herself, the doctors who enabled her suicide did so because they believed that life with autism was so bad that a reasonable person might prefer death. They did not attempt to treat her depression or help her find autism therapy. Tine had not had any treatment for fifteen years; one could hardly claim that all viable options had been exhausted. But, with the diagnosis of autism, this suicidal woman was able to find three doctors who, instead of trying to help her, agreed that she was justified in seeking death.
The doctor who approved her euthanasia is now under investigation for approving euthanasia for a woman with depression, who was initially rejected for euthanasia but then donated more than $2,800 to a foundation headed by the doctor who then agreed to the euthanasia and administered a lethal injection.
The three doctors were tried for murder, but acquitted.
Doctors acquitted in Belgium’s first criminal euthanasia case
Belgian doctors go on trial for murder for helping woman end life
Twee zussen getuigen: “Euthanasie van Tine was amateuristisch”
A peek behind Belgium’s euthanasia curtain
Family of Woman With Autism Upset She Was Euthanized Just Because She Was Depressed
Doctors ‘diagnosed woman with autism so she could get lethal injection’
Medics who helped woman get lethal injection on trial over euthanasia
Belgium investigates 3 doctors who euthanized woman with autism
Euthanasia of woman with Asperger’s investigated as a crime
Woman Faked Autism Diagnosis, Was Euthanized, Certifying Doctors On Trial For Helping
Woman With Autism Euthanized In Belgium. Criminal Investigation Launched After Family Demands Answers.
Human rights court to hear case of Belgian euthanasia for depression