Two sisters of a 38-year-old woman who was euthanised in Belgium are suing her doctors, claiming she was killed illegally.
Tine Nys died in April 2010 but her sisters say she was not experiencing “constant and unbearable suffering” resulting from “serious and incurable disorder” – as Belgian law requires.
The Belgian case is the first to come to court since euthanasia was introduced in 2002.
Sophie and Lotte Nys say their sister Tine was suffering after a broken relationship and that the doctors involved were callous in their methods.
They told a TV station that the doctor, “asked our father to hold the needle in her arm because he had forgotten to bring plasters”.
“When she had died he asked our parents if they wanted to listen through the stethoscope to check her heart had actually stopped beating.”
It comes as a leading Belgian politician expressed support for weakening the current law.
Gwendolyn Rutten, president of the Open VLD party, said she wanted to extend euthanasia to those who feel life “is finished”.
A separate Bill to remove a safeguard requiring euthanasia declarations to be updated every five years is expected to be considered in the coming months.
Elsewhere, the state of Western Australia last month passed a Bill allowing assisted suicide and euthanasia.
Under the scheme, terminally ill adults in pain who are predicted to have less than six months to live can take or be given a lethal drug, if approved by two medical practitioners.
Right to Life Australia challenged the legislation, pointing out that over 150 medics wrote to MPs about their concerns.
The Australian Christian Lobby said those suffering deserved “proper palliative care”, adding that it hoped a future parliament would repeal the “dangerous legislation”.