Mario Verstraete

Mario Verstraete , born in December 1962 and died in Ghent on 30 September 2002, is a Belgian activist who defends the right to die with dignity and, suffering from multiple sclerosis , was the first beneficiary of the law on euthanasia in Belgium.


Mario Verstraete is first an official in the Ministry of Finance, then works in the city of Ghent. Shortly before his death, he was appointed president of the Flemish Film Commission.

On July 3, 1993, he learned that he had multiple sclerosis . From then on, he committed himself as a militant to be able to die with dignity. It is heard in the Senate by the committee that is preparing the Euthanasia Act, which will be approved on May 28, 2002 and will come into force on September 23, 2002. Seven days later, Verstraete is asking for the application of this law and will be The first person to use it in Belgium.

During his illness, he learned classical music, which played an important role in the recognition of his own destiny. In Tot altijd , the film based on his life, this element is well brought out.


  • Mario Verstraete was a friend of Tom Balthazar, the brother of Nic Balthazar , the director of the film Tot altijd .