On March 22, 2016, ISIS terrorists set off three bombs in at Brussels airport and at Maalbeek metro station. Thirty-five people died — 32 civilians and 3 terrorists. The 36th victim died on May 7, after two psychiatrists approved her request for euthanasia because of unbearable psychological suffering.
Shanti De Corte was 17 at the time of the attacks. She suffered from PTSD and had attempted to commit suicide two times, once after being sexually assaulted in a psychiatric hospital. She was 23 when she died.
“That day really cracked her,” her mother told the Belgian TV station VRT. “She never felt safe after that. In the summer of 2016 we went on a trip to France, but Shanti didn’t come out of the hotel. She didn’t want to go anywhere where other people were, out of fear. She also had frequent panic attacks and there she never got rid of it.”
Belgium’s Federal Commission for the Control and Evaluation of Euthanasia had no particular concerns over the case.
However, others who knew Shanti did. Friends who were also traumatized by the attack noticed that she was taking an extraordinary amount of medication – 11 anti-depressants a day, according to a post on her own Facebook page. A therapist contacted the psychiatrist who was caring for her. She wrote: “I was informed that Shanti suffered from complex trauma and that the only solution offered to her to date is the acceptance of her request for euthanasia. Without obviously calling this solution into question a priori, my experience in victimology raises some questions in me. This is why I would like to meet Shanti if you agree.”
The psychiatrist responded: “I have transferred your proposal to the patient and to the medical team taking care of her. Mademoiselle De Corte asks me to tell you that she is not interested in your proposal.”
A neurologist, Paul Deltenre, also contended that the range of treatment options for Shanti had not been exhausted. “”There was nothing to be lost by accepting the offer of care proposed by the Ostend therapeutic team,” he told the Belgian media outlet RTBF.