ANTWERP, Belgium — An Australian documentary has filmed the euthanasia of a healthy but grief-stricken 85-year-old woman in Belgium, which aired last month and drew international attention to the country’s rapidly expanding death-by-doctor policy.
Australian Dateline Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) followed nursing home resident Simona De Moor, who said she decided she wanted euthanasia five minutes after learning of her 57-year-old daughter Vivian’s sudden death following a routine surgery three months earlier.
“The moment they broke the news, five minutes later, I knew,” De Moor told filmmaker Brett Mason. “And nobody in the whole wide world will take it away from me.”
De Moor said she had lived happily in Antwerp with 94 other elderly patients and had not thought of euthanasia previously, but said, “Grief is an unbearable pain. It’s driving me mad.”
De Moor’s general practitioner, Dr. Marc Van Hoey, is also president of the Right to Die Society Flanders, a euthanasia advocacy group that promotes individuals’ “self-determination at the end of their lives.” He has lost count of the number of patients to whom he has administered lethal concoctions to since euthanasia was legalized in Belgium 13 years ago, but it is “maybe hundreds; more than 100.”
The film shows Van Hoey giving De Moor a cup of orange syrup on June 22 this year. “We all hope that you will see Vivian again somewhere,” he said as she lay down…