Wednesday, October 23, 2019
Marieke Vervoort of Belgium won gold and silver medals in wheelchair racing at the 2012 London Paralympics and silver at the 2016 Rio Paralympics. She suffered from incurable and degenerative spinal pain, and said that the training, riding, and competition kept her alive and fighting for so long, but that signing paperwork for euthanasia gave her control over her own life.
Vervoort was a strong advocate for the right to choose euthanasia and spent her final evening with close friends and family. “If I didn't have those papers, I think I'd have done suicide already. I think there will be fewer suicides when every country has the law of euthanasia. ... I hope everybody sees that this is not murder, but it makes people live longer.”
Condolences have poured in for Paralympic athlete, including from the Belgium royal family.
See Ryan Gaydos, Paralympic Gold Medalist Dies by Euthanasia After Battling Degenerative Spinal Pain, Fox News, October 23, 2019.