Plagued by psychological trauma after terror attack, 23-year-old Belgium woman opts for euthanasia


The world has seen its fair share of terror attacks. These terrible attacks result in huge losses of life and the devastation of property. People, who survive these are considered lucky, but are they?

A 23-year woman who had survived a terror attack when she was a teenager has died after she chose to be euthanised. Shanti De Corte was plagued by depression and PTSD due to the bomb detonation she witnessed back when she was 17 years old.

On March 22, 2016, as she and her schoolmates were making their way through the departures area of the Belgian airport in Zaventem in preparation for a vacation to Italy, an ISIS bomb went off. 

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The explosion as per Daily Mail claimed 32 lives, additionally, more than 300 people were injured.

Though Shanti escaped the explosion physically unscathed, mentally she suffered every day since. The ordeal left her psychologically crippled, suffering through frequent panic attacks and bouts of depressive episodes. The troubled young woman is the terror attack’s latest and the 33rd victim.

Shanti sought help from a psychiatric facility in her home town of Antwerp and was even put on anti-depressant medications. However, the psychological trauma was too heavy and she attempted suicide twice; once in 2018 and once in 2020.

Also read | Spanish court allows euthanasia for paraplegic gunman awaiting trail

Finally, in May of this year, she opted to be euthanised.

Euthanasia is legal in Belgium for individuals in “a medically futile condition of constant and unbearable physical or mental suffering that cannot be alleviated, resulting from a serious and incurable disorder caused by illness or accident”.

As per RTBF, two psychiatrists approved Shanti’s formal request to be euthanised earlier this year. She died on May 7, 2022, however, her story only recently came to light after her mother Marielle spoke to VRT news. ‘That day really cracked her, she never felt safe after that,’ said Shanti’s mother.

Also read | Countries where euthanasia, assisted suicide is legal

prior she opted to die, Shanti frequently took to social media and recalled the horrors she witnessed. In one post she shared how at one point she was taking up to 11 antidepressants a day, “I couldn’t live without it”.

“With all the medications I take, I feel like a ghost that can’t feel anything anymore. Maybe there were other solutions than medications,” she wrote.

In a final post, she posted on the day she died, Shanti wrote “I was laughing and crying. Until the last day. I loved and was allowed to feel what true love is. Now I will go away in peace. Know that I miss you already.”

(With inputs from agencies)

If you or someone you know wants help for mental well-being, don’t hesitate to talk to a professional. Aasra (Mumbai) 022-27546669, 98204 66726, Sneha (Chennai) 044-24640050, Sumaitri (Delhi) 011-23389090, Cooj (Goa) 0832- 2252525, Jeevan (Jamshedpur) 065-76453841, Pratheeksha (Kochi) 048-42448830, Maithri (Kochi) 0484-2540530, Roshni (Hyderabad) 040-66202000, Lifeline 033-64643267 (Kolkata), Parivarthan (Bangalore) +91 76766 02602

WION is not associated with any of these organisations and does not make any recommendations.



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