The mother of a Belgian who chose to die after a botched sex change operation has said "her death does not bother me" in a tragic case that has revived debate over euthanasia in Belgium.
Monday, Nathan, born Nancy, Verhelst, 44, was killed by lethal injection after requesting euthanasia on the grounds of "unbearable psychological suffering" because surgery to turn her into a man had resulted in "a monster".
Today, his unnamed mother confirmed Mr Verhelst's comments, made in an interview just before his death, that he had been an unwanted child and admitted she had not yet read his letter to her explaining why he asked to die.
"When I saw 'Nancy' for the first time, my dream was shattered. She was so ugly. I had a phantom birth. Her death does not bother me," she told Het Laatste Nieuws newspaper.
"I will definitely read it but it will be full of lies. For me, this chapter is closed. Her death does not bother me. I feel no sorrow, no doubt or remorse. We never had a bond."
After a life of being rejected by his parents as a daughter, Mr Verhelst had hormone therapy in 2009, followed by a mastectomy and unsuccessful surgery to construct a penis in 2012.
"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," he said hours before he died.
The case, involving an individual suffering psychological problems and trauma, has revived Belgium's debate over medical euthanasia as statistics show a steep year on year increase in the number of patients killed by doctors after a request to die.
Jacqueline Herremans, a lawyer and member of Belgium's committee for monitoring and evaluation of euthanasia, acknowledged that Mr Verhelst's case posed difficult ethical questions.
"This case seems to meet the requirements of the law. But I do not yet have all the elements to say it with perfect certainty," she said.
"This is a case of conscience, a situation that raises questions. There is no immediate answer. It should begin a long process to understand."
A survey released on Wednesday has added to debate after finding that three quarters of Belgians support the euthanasia of children with incurable diseases, even without their consent.
The La Libre-RTBF opinion poll found that 38m per cent are "very favourable" to the euthanasia of minors at a time when Belgium's parliament is debating changes to the law to allowing doctors to kill children with terminal illnesses if they ask for it.
The survey also found that 79 per cent of Belgians are in favour of extending the euthanasia law to adults with severe dementia, a condition that raises problems over the question of consent.
Belgium recorded a record number of 1,432 cases of euthanasia in 2012, up 25 per cent from the previous year and the country is currently deciding whether to extend "mercy killing" legislation to children.
Wim Distelmans, the cancer specialist who carried out the euthanasia of Mr Verhelst, is the same doctor who last December gave lethal injections to twins Marc and Eddy Verbessem, 45.
The two brothers were both born deaf and asked for euthanasia after finding that they might also both go blind. After having their request to die refused by their local hospital, Prof. Distelmans accepted on the grounds of 'unbearable psychological suffering'.
Last week, figures showed that the number of Dutch people killed by medical euthanasia has more than doubled in the 10 years since legislation was changed to permit it, rising 13 per cent last year to 4,188.
Euthanasia carried out by doctors at the request of a patient is only legal in three European countries, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/belgium/10349159/Mother-of-sex-change-Belgian-I-dont-care-about-his-euthanasia-death.html