The mother of the Belgian transsexual who chose euthanasia after a botched sex change left him a ‘monster’ says she’s ‘not bothered’ by her child’s decision.
Nathan Verhelst, 44, died on Monday afternoon after being allowed have his life ended on the grounds of ‘unbearable psychological suffering’.
Mr Verhelst, who was born a girl named Nancy, before his death told how he had been an unwanted child – a pain which had affected him deeply that was today confirmed by his mother.
‘When I first saw “Nancy”, my dream was shattered. She was so ugly,’ she told Belgium’s Het Laatste Nieuws. ‘I had a ghost birth. Her death does not bother me.’
She said the farewell letter that Mr Verhelst had written to her explaining his reasons for choosing euthanasia had not yet arrived, adding: ‘I will definitely read it, but it will be full of lies.
‘For me, this chapter closed. Her death does not bother me. I feel no sorrow, no doubt or remorse. We never had a bond which could therefore not be broken.’
Hours before his death Mr Verhelst had spoken of how, as a child, he ‘was the girl that nobody wanted’, describing how his mother had complained that she’d wished he’d been born a boy.
Rejected by his parents as a girl, he became a tomboy and later a lesbian. His transformation into a man in 2009 began with hormone therapy, followed by a mastectomy and finally an operation to construct a penis last year.
But the procedures did not go according to plan.
Heartbreaking end: It is understood to be the first time someone in Belgium has chosen euthanasia after a sex-change, and comes soon after it emerged that it is now the cause of nearly one in 50 deaths in the country
In the hours before his death he told Het Laatse Nieuws: ‘I was ready to celebrate my new birth. But when I looked in the mirror, I was disgusted with myself.
BELGIUM’S CONTROVERSIAL EUTHANASIA LAWS
In 2002 Belgium became the second country in the world, after The Netherlands, to legalise euthanasia.
Since then, an increasing number of people have chosen to die using this method.
In 2012, 1,432 people were allowed to go through assisted suicide indicating a 25 per cent increase in the number of assisted deaths.
Guidelines set out by the country’s parliament mean patients wishing to end their own lives must be conscious when they ask to die.
They also have to be under a ‘constant and unbearable physical or psychological pain’ resulting from an ‘accident or incurable illness’.
A survey earlier this year found 32 per cent of assisted deaths are done without request and 47% of the assisted deaths go unreported.
In one case, a 44-year-old woman with chronic anorexia nervosa, an eating disorder, was euthanised, along with a 64-year-old woman who was suffering from chronic depression.
The Belgian parliament is reportedly on the verge of passing legislation that would allow people under 18 to consent to euthanasia.
‘My new breasts did not match my expectations and my new penis had symptoms of rejection. I do not want to be… a monster.’
Mr Verhelst’s decision comes amid a fierce debate over euthanasia in Belgium, where the number of deaths due to the controversial practice soared by 25 per cent last year.‘
Official figures showed the numbers opting to end their lives leap from 1,133 in 2011 to 1,432 in 2012, a figure representing about two per cent of all deaths in the country.
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