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New euthanasia process against doctor Van Hove

Relief at Van Hove in February 2020, when the Ghent court of assizes acquitted him and two other doctors. © Photo News

At May 11, a new euthanasia trial against doctor Joris Van Hove has started before the criminal court in Dendermonde. The Dendermond court has to consider whether he made a mistake during the euthanasia of Tine Nys (38) in 2010 and if so, what compensation must be paid.

Fifteen months ago, the initial euthanasia process in Ghent ended. Van Hove, along with two other doctors, was acquitted by the court of assizes. However, Tine Nys’s family went to the Court of Cassation which ruled that the acquittal of Joris Van Hove was not sufficiently motivated. Therefore, there is now a new trial. This was already announced in November.

The first day of this new trial, the judge questioned the doctor himself and the family of Tine Nys. Van Hove maintains that all legal conditions have been met: “There was unbearable psychological suffering with Tine and no treatment was possible”, he emphasized. “From the first meeting, in December 2009, she spoke about euthanasia and she insisted on it. I have always been convinced that euthanasia was justified in her case. ”

This declaration was confirmed by the two other doctors involved, psychiatrist Lieve Thienpont and general practitioner Frank De Greef, who were heard as witnesses. Her family told another story: “Tine was not finished. It makes us sad that Tine was not given professional care between her application for euthanasia and her death. Professionals did not give her the help she needed, instead they gave her the help to die.”