A Belgian man chose death by lethal injection due to a botched sex change operation that left him feeling like a monster, reports MSN News on October 5. Nathan (given name Nancy) Verhelst, 44, told a local newspaper shortly before his death that he was distressed by the results of the operation.
"When I looked in the mirror, I was disgusted with myself. My new breasts did not match my expectations and my new penis had symptoms of rejection. I do not want to be... a monster." said Verherlst.
Euthanasia, an act performed by a doctor to kill a patient to alleviate pain and suffering, is legalized in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg - the only areas in the world where a person can elect to die with the help of a physician.
Euthanasia is typically reserved for the terminally ill to alleviate their pain and suffering and prevent the extension of life when the quality of life is severely compromised, Verhelst is the first case to be approved where the reason for euthanasia is psychological pain and suffering.
Professor Wim Distelmans performed the euthanasia procedure on Verhelst after a full psychological assessment determined that Verhelst was suffering from “unbearable psychological suffering”.
No word is given as to what other medical or psychological treatment had been offered to Verhelst to alleviate the suffering or improve his quality of life, nor have psychological reports pertaining to his psychological state prior to the sex change operation been released.
Whether the results of the sex change operation created Verhelst’s mental state or if his unstable psychological condition existed prior to surgery is unknown.
Rita Marker,Executive Director of the Patients’ Rights Council, a US based anti-euthanasia group, worries that blurring the lines between caring for patients and offering suicide to vulnerable people is risky business.
While Distelmans' claims Verhelst's pain and suffering met the requirements of the law to justify euthanasia, anti-euthanasia groups disagree. The measure of pain and suffering of another is subjective at best and leaves plenty of room for interpretation.
Nathan (Nancy) Verhelst’s final moments were filmed and broadcast via TV OOST, a local television station.