Frank Van Den Bleeken

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Frank Van Den Bleeken is a Belgian serial rapist and murderer who campaigned to have doctors euthanase him after having served over 30 years in prison.[1][2] Fifteen other Belgian inmates have made similar requests.[3] Since Belgium legalised euthanasia in 2002, around 1,400 Belgians a year have chosen it. The number increased to over 1,800 cases in 2013; of these, 67 were for psychological reasons.[4][5]

In September 2014 Belgium's justice minister confirmed that Van Den Bleeken would be allowed to die. The sisters of his last victim were opposed to the decision, preferring that he be left to "rot in his cell". He had first asked for the right to die three years earlier. According to his lawyer, he was "suffering unbearably" from a psychological condition that doctors agreed was incurable.[4] On 3 January 2015 Belgian media reported that Van Den Bleeken would be euthanised in jail in Bruges on 11 January.[6]

On 6 January 2015 it was revealed that Van Den Bleeken would not be euthanised. The justice minister announced the cancellation following Van Den Bleeken's doctors' decision "to no longer continue the euthanasia procedure". He was to be moved instead to a psychiatric prison ward in Ghent while authorities considered his transfer to a specialist treatment facility in the Netherlands.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ AFP (15 September 2014). "Belgium grants murderer's request for mercy killing". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  2. ^ "BBC News - Belgian murderer Van Den Bleeken wins 'right to die'". BBC News. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  3. ^ Charlotte McDonald-Gibson (16 September 2014). "Murderer and rapist Frank Van Den Bleeken granted right to euthanasia rather than the 'unbearable suffering' of life in prison". The Independent. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  4. ^ a b AP (16 September 2014). "Belgian convicted killer with 'incurable' psychiatric condition granted right to die". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  5. ^ "Belgium to allow jailed murderer Frank Van Den Bleeken to end his own life". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  6. ^ Tim Porter (3 January 2015). "Belgian serial rapist and murderer Frank Van Den Bleeken 'to be euthanised' in January". International Business Times. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  7. ^ "Belgian serial rapist will not be euthanised". Telegraph.co.uk. 6 January 2015. Retrieved 6 January 2015.