In Belgium, a country where euthanasia is legal and more than 1,400 people chose to be killed by doctors last year alone, a man who was born a woman but suffered an unsatisfactory sex change recently chose to die rather than live on as a “monster.”
Upon hearing of 44-year-old Nathan Verhelst’s death, the mother of the man who was born “Nancy” said that his death meant nothing to her.
"When I saw Nancy for the first time, my dream was shattered. She was so ugly. I had a phantom birth. Her death does not bother me,” said the mother whose name has not been made public. “For me, this chapter is closed. Her death does not bother me. I feel no sorrow, no doubt or remorse. We never had a bond."
Her comments would seem to confirm what Verhelst (pictured) told a Belgian newspaper shortly before his death.
"I was the girl that nobody wanted," Mr Verhelst said to the Het Laatse Nieuws paper. "While my brothers were celebrated, I got a storage room above the garage as a bedroom. 'If only you had been a boy', my mother complained. I was tolerated, nothing more."
Beginning in 2009, Verhelst began treatment to change her gender, including a double mastectomy, hormone therapy and surgery to construct a penis. But when he looked in the mirror as a man, he was horrified by his appearance and said that his new penis was being rejected by his body.
“I do not want to be a monster,” he said.
So he opted to die at the hands of Wim Distelmans, a doctor who who last year euthanized two twins who had been born deaf but were not convinced they were both going blind.
He (Verhelst) was in a situation with incurable, unbearable suffering,” he doctor explained. “Unbearable suffering for euthanasia can be both physical and psychological. This was a case that clearly met the conditions demanded by the law. Nathan underwent counseling for six months."
Belgians are overwhelmingly in favor of their country’s euthanasia laws. In fact, a poll released this week showed the three-quarters of Belgians favor of euthanizing children who have terminal illnesses and 79 percent think the law should allow the killing of adults with severe dementia, even though those people would be in no condition to offer their consent.
SOURCES: Daily Telegraph (2)