Expatica news

Doctor who euthanized son is released

12 September 2007

BRUSSELS – Physician Marie-Thérèse Vrelust (59) from Sint-Niklaas was released by the court in Dendermonde on Tuesday after more than six months in pre-trial custody on charges of killing her son Marc Van Der Aa (32) by euthanasia.

Marc suffered from a severe mental illness and had asked his mother repeatedly to help him end his life. After administering her son a lethal injection, Marie-Thérèse Vrelust injected herself with a deadly mixture of drugs. She was found by her housekeeper however and could be resuscitated.

After a week in a coma the doctor awoke and was arrested on murder charges and detained in the prison in Bruges. After six months in prison she was released on Tuesday.

The court wanted first to be certain that she would not attempt suicide again. A psychiatric evaluation has indicated that she does not pose a danger to herself at the moment. The court does not feel the woman poses any danger to society either. If the case ever makes it to a criminal court, the jury will be faced with a difficult social debate, says the doctor’s lawyer, Jef Vermassen.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news