Tine Nys, a 38-year-old woman diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome (a mild form of autism), was euthanized in Belgium by Dr. Lieve Thienpont in 2010 under apparently dubious circumstances. After consistent inquiries were made from Tine's family surrounding the speedy diagnosis and the death, a criminal investigation has finally been launched by Belgian officials into three doctors, including Thienpont, for suspected "poisoning."
In Belgium, the commonly-mocked "slippery slope" argument has already borne out. Instead of allowing the already-horrifying practice of euthanasia for the terminally ill, Belgium permits the euthanizing of children and for those suffering with "mental health" issues if their cases meet the right legal criteria.
Sophie Nys, Tine's sister, was troubled by her sister's case, telling the Associated Press in October 2017 that it was "unthinkable" to believe her sister's mental health struggles warranted death. She also questioned how Tine could be euthanized a mere two months after the dubious Asperger's diagnosis by Thienpont, especially since Tine's psychiatrist preceding Thienpont refused to grant her euthanasia request:
Sophie Nys believes her sister's euthanasia was granted far too easily. She acknowledges that her sister Tine had long struggled with mental health problems, but said it was unthinkable that those problems warranted her death. Tine's longtime psychiatrist rejected her request to die, but Tine soon found Thienpont.
Sophie says Dr. Thienpont rushed the process, diagnosing her sister with Asperger's and approving her euthanasia request after only two or three sessions, according to the AP. Sophie also suspects Tine might have "manipulated" the Asperger's test due to her desire to be killed. "[Tine] knew that if she wasn't diagnosed with autism or Asperger's that she would not have a chance (of being euthanized)," she said.
Sophie would file a criminal complaint (which would eventually be dismissed) concerning her sister's death, only to be stonewalled by Thienpont, according to emails exposed in Tine's medical file.
"We must try to stop these people," Dr. Thienpont told her colleagues via email concerning the investigation into Tine's death. "It is a seriously dysfunctional, wounded, traumatized family with very little empathy and respect for others. I am starting to better understand Tine's suffering."
This is not the first time Thienpont has been under scrutiny; the doctor seems to have a habit of liberally granting euthanasia requests from patients without meeting the legal requirements. As noted by The Daily Wire, "Thienpont denied the claims and said patients misrepresented her."
"These patients are very desperate, stressed," she said. "They say things that are not always correct."
According to a TIME report published Tuesday, "Belgium's Chamber of Indictment 'presumes that there are sufficient indications in this particular case' and the doctors involved have been referred to the Court of Assize in Ghent."
Francis Clarysse, a Ghent prosecutor, said the three doctors being investigated will face trial "due to poisoning."
"It is unclear when a trial might begin and the doctors could still appeal the decision. The charge of poisoning carries a maximum penalty of a lifetime sentence," notes TIME.