Rapist Who Can't Bear Prison to Be Euthanized

Belgian killer didn't want parole but couldn't bear prison
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 16, 2014 12:51 AM CDT
Sex Offender Granted Right to Die
The Belgian flag flies outside the Belgian Federal Parliament building in Brussels.   (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

Frank Van Den Bleeken, a Belgian man in prison for multiple rapes and a rape-murder, has decided he wants to die and authorities have decided they can grant that request. Van Den Bleeken, 50, has been in prison for nearly 30 years and has declined to seek parole because he believes his uncontrollable urges make him a danger to society, but he says he can no longer bear prison conditions and his own "unbearable psychic suffering," AFP reports. "I am a human being, and regardless of what I've done, I remain a human being," he told Belgian TV. "So, yes, give me euthanasia." Authorities determined Van Den Bleeken met the required conditions: He is conscious, capable, and has expressed a "voluntary, considered, and repeated" request to end his life.

Lawyers for Van Den Bleeken, who launched his legal fight for the right to die in 2011, say he will soon be transferred from prison to a hospital where he will be euthanized, the BBC reports. In a TV documentary on his case, Van Den Bleeken complained that there was a lack of therapy for his condition in Belgium and said that for sex offenders, "just locking them up helps no one: not the person, not society, and not the victims," reports Reuters. Belgium legalized euthanasia in 2002, and the procedure was carried out on a record 1,807 people last year. In 2012, a pair of deaf identical twins were euthanized after learning they would go blind and not see each other again. (More Belgium stories.)

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