Woman 'euthanised' in Belgium due to suffering mental trauma from Brussels terror attack

Gregory Robinson

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Woman 'euthanised' in Belgium due to suffering mental trauma from Brussels terror attack

Featured Image Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

A Belgian woman who suffered years of mental health issues after surviving a Brussels terror attack opted to undergo euthanasia.

Also known as assisted suicide, euthanasia is when someone’s life is deliberately ended to relieve them of suffering, such as to relieve them of persistent pain.

Both euthanasia and assisted suicide are illegal under English law, but Belgium is one of four countries in Europe where it is legal. The other countries include Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Spain. It is also legal in Canada, Colombia and New Zealand. Some states in the US do permit physician-assisted suicide under some circumstances.

Shanti De Corte suffered immensely after the attacks. Credit: Facebook/Shanti De Corte.
Shanti De Corte suffered immensely after the attacks. Credit: Facebook/Shanti De Corte.

The 23-year-old Belgian woman was a 17-year-old student travelling with classmates when terrorists affiliated with ISIS detonated a bomb at Brussels Airport in Zaventem in March 2016.

Shanti De Corte was walking through the departures lounge when the bomb detonated. The explosion killed 32 people with an additional 340 wounded.

De Corte survived the explosion and did not experience any physical injuries. However the mental trauma from the blast affected her for the rest of her life.

“That day really cracked her, she never felt safe after that,” Shanti De Corte’s mother, Marielle, shared with Belgian news station VRT regarding her daughter’s struggles after the attack.

Shanti De Corte's mother Marielle discussed her daughter's struggles. Credit: VRT.
Shanti De Corte's mother Marielle discussed her daughter's struggles. Credit: VRT.

“She didn’t want to go anywhere where other people were, out of fear.

“She also had frequent panic attacks and she never got rid of it.”

De Corte’s euthanasia was approved by two psychiatrists earlier this year, after the patient struggled with anxiety and depression for years. She made two suicide attempts in 2018 and 2020 and regularly shared details of her struggles on social media.

“I get a few medications for breakfast. And up to 11 antidepressants a day. I couldn't live without it," De Corte wrote in one social media post. "With all the medications I take, I feel like a ghost that can't feel anything anymore. Maybe there were other solutions than medications."

Tributes left for the victims who lost their lives. Credit:
Tributes left for the victims who lost their lives. Credit:

However, prosecutors have opened an investigation into De Corte’s case after a neurologist at the UZC Brugmann academic clinical hospital in Brussels argued the decision ‘was made prematurely’.

De Corte was euthanised in May and shared a final post on social media. "I was laughing and crying. Until the last day. I loved and was allowed to feel what true love is," she shared. "Now I will go away in peace. Know that I miss you already.”

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, please don’t suffer alone. Call Samaritans for free on their anonymous 24-hour phone line on 116 123

Topics: News, Terrorism, Mental Health

Gregory Robinson
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