Frank Van Den Bleeken

Frank Van Den Bleeken is a Belgian interned detainee (53 years old in 2015), known for a legal battle asking to be euthanized by invoking for psychological suffering.


Frank Van Den Bleeken was convicted of multiple rapes, and a murder committed , For which he was declared irresponsible. He was interned 26 years in psychiatric institutions 1 .

Who consider themselves incurable and a threat to society, he refused early release 2 . He nevertheless considered his conditions of detention inhuman and asked to be transferred to a Dutch institution which cared for prisoners suffering from his pathology. As the transfer to the Netherlands was refused, in 2011 he launched a procedure 1 to obtain his euthanasia, which was legalized in Belgium in 2002 (see Legislation on euthanasia and assisted suicide by country # Belgium ).

The psychiatrists concluded that he was suffering unbearably and could not be truly cared for. On 15 September 2014, the Brussels Court of Appeal accepted his application 3 , 4 . The date of euthanasia was set at5 , in the medical wing of the prison in Bruges .

The , The treating physicians decide to stop the procedure of euthanasia. Frank Van Den Bleeken should be transferred to the Legal Psychiatric Center in Ghent 6 , with the possibility of transfer to the Netherlands 7 .

Reactions to euthanasia

The reactions of opponents to euthanasia

Vincent Morel, President of the French Society for Accompaniment and Palliative Care, said: “This is proof that any law on assisted death extends to situations far removed from medicine” 8 .

The reactions of supporters of euthanasia

ULteam, a team of specialists proposing consultations on end-of-life states, “To achieve euthanasia, we must always be sure that we have done everything to ease the suffering. However, in the case of this internee, this is not the case: he was not given the choice. He requested his transfer to a psychiatric hospital in the Netherlands, specializing in this type of profile. His application was dismissed. It is because this trail has closed that he has pursued his requests for euthanasia, he only has that. ” 8


In September 2014, while the demand of Frank Van Den Bleeken accepted, fifteen other detainees interned manifest to the ULTEAM to communicate their intention to also obtain euthanasia 9 , 10 .


  1. a and b In Belgium, a prisoner who asked to die will be euthanized on 11 January  [ archive ] , the world, 3 January 2014
  2. ↑  [ archive ]
  3. ↑ « in-belgium-a-detenu-obtains-right-to-be-euthanasia »  [ archive ] , on ,(Accessed 19 September 2014 ) ,
  4. ↑ ” the euthanasia-only-hope-for-sex-offenders-incurable [ archive ] , on ,(Accessed 19 September 2014 )
  5. ↑  [ archive ]
  6. ↑  [ archive ]
  7. ↑  [ archive ]
  8. a and b Belgium: the euthanasia of a rapist worries the supporters of assisted death [ archive ] , on , (Accessed 19 September 2014 )
  9. ↑  [ archive ]
  10. ↑ ” Will Belgium grant the right to die to a detainee?  »  [ Archive ] , on ,