Mother executed voluntarily after killing five children

According to her lawyer, the Belgian woman who killed her five children was executed – at her own request – sixteen years after she slit the throats of her son and four daughters with a kitchen knife.

Geneviève Lhermitte, 56, killed her children, aged 3 to 14, on February 28, 2007, in the city of Nivelles, when their father was not at home. New York Post reports.

She tried to commit suicide, but later called an ambulance.

Lhermitte was sentenced to life in prison in December 2008 and transferred to a psychiatric hospital in 2019.

Her lawyer Nicholas Cohen said she died by euthanasia on Tuesday, the 16th anniversary of the murders, Sky News reported. It is unclear how she died, but lethal injection is commonly used.

Lhermitte died at the Leonard de Vinci Hospital in Montigny-le-Tilleoule, according to the news outlet, citing the Belgian news website Sudinfo.

Under Belgian law, people can decide to be euthanized if they are determined to experience “unbearable” psychological or physical suffering that cannot be cured.

The person must be aware of the decision taken and be able to reasonably and consistently state the request.

“It was this particular procedure that Mrs. Lhermitte followed when the various medical reports were collected,” Cohen said.

Psychologist Emily Marois told RTL-TVI that Lhermitte likely chose to die on Tuesday as a “symbolic gesture of respect for her children.”

“Perhaps she also finished what she started because, in essence, she wanted to kill herself when she killed them,” Maroit said, according to the BBC.

During the trial, Lhermitte’s lawyers argued that the woman was mentally unstable and should not be sent to prison. But the jury found her guilty of premeditated murder and sentenced her to life in prison.

In 2010, Lhermitte filed a civil lawsuit seeking up to 3 million euros – about $3.2 million – from a former psychiatrist, alleging that his “inaction” did not prevent the murders.

She dropped out of the legal battle after 10 years.

Last year, 2,966 people died of euthanasia in Belgium, up 10% from 2021.

Cancer is the most common reason for euthanasia.

Since 2014, Belgium has also allowed children to die if they are terminally ill and in severe pain – and if they have parental consent.

This article originally appeared on New York Post and has been reprinted with permission.

Originally published as Mother executed voluntarily after killing five children

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