Belgium native Nathan Verhelst, 44 was pronounced dead Monday after being granted the right to die on the grounds of “unbearable psychological suffering” following botched sex-change surgery. Euthanasia has been legal in Belgium since 2002.
Originally born female, Nathan (formerly Nancy) began his transformation into a male with hormone therapy in 2009, followed by a mastectomy and finally an operation to construct a penis three years later. However, none of the procedures worked the way he had hoped.
In the hours before his death he told Belgium’s Het Laatse Nieuws, “I was ready to celebrate my new birth. But 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.”
Verhelst’s nightmare began a a child, after his mother complained about his being a girl.
“I was the girl that nobody wanted,” he confided to Het Laatste Nieuws.“While my brothers were celebrated, I got a storage room above the garage as a bedroom. ‘If only you had been a boy’, my mother complained. I was tolerated, nothing more.”
According to reports, Verhelst died by lethal injection administered by cancer specialist Wim Distelmans, is the same doctor who gave lethal injections to congenitally deaf twins who were frightened they were also going blind late last year.
Euthanasia performed by doctors is currently legal in Netherlands, Luxembourg and Belgium, where a record number of 1,432 occurred in 2012. According to official records this was a 25% jump from the year before.