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Christian charity heads to court over euthanasia 'injustice'

Thu 09 Nov 2017
By Tola Mbakwe

Christian human rights organisation ADF International is representing a Belgian man in the European Court of Human Rights after he claimed his mother was euthanised in 2012 without him being informed.

Euthanasia is legal in Belgium, but Tom Mortier said even though his mother had severe depression, she was deemed physically healthy by her long time doctor and should not have been killed.

It's been claimed that Belgian authorities took advantage of his mother's vulnerable state when she sought for another doctor who agreed with allowing a lethal injection.

Mortier said: "The big problem in our society is that apparently we have lost the meaning of taking care of each other.

"The oncologist who administered the injection nor the hospital had informed neither me or any of my siblings that our mother was even considering euthanasia.

"I found out a day later when I was contacted by the hospital, asking me to take care of the practicalities."

Tom Mortier

Laurence Wilkinson from ADF told Premier Christians should pay attention to the case because the right to life as well as protecting the weak and vulnerable in society is at stake.

He said: "I don't think we should stand around when we see serious miscarriages of justice and see people being killed because of failure of safeguards.

"Also in this particular case you look at Tom, he's lost his mother and he's had no opportunity to do anything about that.

"If the court recognises there has been a failure on the part of the Belgian authorities, that would be hugely significant because currently the situation in Belgium is one that doesn't even acknowledge that anything has gone wrong here at all."

ADF has called the legalisation of euthanasia in Belgium and the Netherlands a "slippery slope".

Wilkinson said: "In both countries you've seen the age limit be expanded to children's ages and also the circumstances in which people are being allowed to be euthanised have grown from terminal illnesses to mental illness as well.

"As this case shows you can have a situation which is clearly preventable and people are still being euthanised."

Listen to Laurence Wilkinson speaking with Premier's Tola Mbakwe here:

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