16 years ago, a woman in Belgium murdered her five children by slitting their throats with a kitchen knife. Due to unbearable mental suffering, the woman requests euthanasia - which she is now receiving on the 16th anniversary of the terrible crime.
In Belgium, a five-time child murderer has taken advantage of euthanasia. Geneviève Lhermitte, 56, was pronounced dead on the 16th anniversary of her murder, according to her lawyer Nicolas Cohen. In Belgium, euthanasia is permitted under certain conditions if it ends an intolerable mental illness. "Ms. Lhermitte relied on this specific procedure," said Attorney Cohen. She claimed euthanasia on Tuesday, February 28.
On February 28, 2007, the housewife first beat her four daughters and her son unconscious at her home in Nivelles, south of Brussels, and then cut their throats with a kitchen knife. The children were between three and 14 years old. The mother then tried to commit suicide, but survived. The children's father was traveling at the time of the crime.
Lhermitte was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2008. In court, she pleaded mental health issues to avoid a long prison sentence. However, the jury concluded that she acted intentionally and with full knowledge. In 2019 she was allowed to leave prison under strict conditions. After that, she remained in a psychiatric facility. The Belgian psychologist Emilie Maroit told the television station RTL-TVI about the child murderer's death wish, which may have been a belated "symbolic gesture to her children".
Euthanasia has been legal in Belgium since 2002. Last year, 2966 people officially made use of it. According to the responsible Belgian commission, this was an increase of almost ten percent compared to 2021. However, euthanasia due to severe mental illness is a process that occurs extremely rarely. About 20 such cases are registered every year.