Belgian euthanised after sex-change surgery

A woman in Belgium has ended her life by euthanasia after a sex change operation did not meet expectations.

Nancy Verhelst, known as Nathan, was euthanised on Monday afternoon on the grounds of “unbearable psychological suffering”.

Research has shown that a high number of people who undergo sex change surgery go on to commit suicide.


A medical professor from the University of Exeter said research conducted a decade ago shows that sex change surgery is not necessarily a good thing.

Prof Chris Hyde said: “While no doubt great care is taken to ensure that appropriate patients undergo gender reassignment, there’s still a large number of people who have the surgery but remain traumatised – often to the point of committing suicide.”

He said he has not looked into the topic since his original findings “given the difficulties in researching this area”, but said it is “likely” the same issues remain today.


Some suggest the suicide rate of those who have undergone sex change surgery is as high as 31 per cent.

Nancy Verhelst, 44, wanted to look like a man and had hormone therapy in 2009 followed by surgery last year.

She said her new body features did not match “expectations” and she did not want to be a “monster”.


She told a local newspaper, “I was the girl that nobody wanted” when she was growing up, and was simply “tolerated” by her family.

The Belgian was euthanised by Professor Distelmans, who also ended the lives of a pair of deaf twins last year.

Marc and Eddy Verbessem, 45, were not terminally ill but had discovered they were going blind.

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