A Rapist Who Wants to Die

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Why you should care

Because perhaps an inalienable right to living should also cover the other end of the spectrum.

Belgian murderer-rapist Frank Van Den Bleeken poses no clear and present danger. He’s been in a prison in Bruges for about the last 30 years and, frankly, he’s wearied of it. He’s wearied of it and knows that, given his predilection for the most vicious sort of crime and his total inability to stop himself, he’s unlikely to get out. And in a country where euthanasia is legal, he’s gambled on a no-harm-no-foul solution with repeated requests that he be allowed to avail himself of a state-sanctioned exit ticket.

His date to ride? This past January 11, 2015.

But then things got fuzzy. Doctors refused the state, Van Den Bleeken himself went silent after having possibly demurred, and now his euthanasia date is off again. But the question remains: Whose life is it anyway? Not just for the likes of Van Den Bleeken, but for anyone else prone to saying no to life, whatever their reason.

OZY’s Eugene S. Robinson wonders about the rights of the right-to-death inclined.

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