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United against euthanasia

United against euthanasia

A BELGIAN university lecturer, whose mother was euthanised without his consent, will be among speakers at an international symposium on euthanasia and assisted suicide in Adelaide in May.

Tom Mortier is a lecturer in chemistry at Leuven University Hospital.

He will tell how his chronically depressed mother, Godelieva De Troyer,  received a lethal injection at the hospital of Vrije Universiteit Brussel (the Free University of Brussels) in 2012.

Mr Mortier was not involved in the decision-making process and the doctor who administered the injection never contacted him.

He now speaks out regularly against the Belgian law and has filed a court case with the European Court of Human Rights to challenge the law.

The Adelaide symposium is organised by Paul Russell, who is executive director of HOPE: preventing euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Mr Russell said the Belgian man was one of a panel of 12 experts speaking out against the push for legalised euthanasia around the world.

“These speakers include the likes of Professor Theo Boer, former supporter of the Dutch euthanasia laws and member of the Euthanasia Review Committee in The Netherlands,” he said.

“Professor Boer recently warned the British parliament against supporting an assisted suicide bill.

“Based on the Dutch experience, he warned of a surge in deaths in Britain if doctors were allowed to give deadly drugs to their patients.

“The annual report on euthanasia deaths in The Netherlands showed a regular increase since legalisation in 2001 – 4188 cases were recorded in 2012 with as many as 6000 expected in 2015.”

The event will be the first international symposium hosted in the southern hemisphere by the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition International.

“Outside of Europe, Adelaide has been described as ‘the epicentre of the push to legislate for legal euthanasia’,” Mr Russell said.

“So it seems appropriate to hold the symposium in this city.”

The symposium is being held on May 22 and 23 at Rydges Adelaide.

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