Alexander Decommere and Marc Van Hoey, Eva’s GP in the documentary End Credits, were interviewed recently on the Canadian radio for The Sunday Edition.
Alexander Decommere‘s view was strongly influenced during the making of his most recent film “End Credits”. It looks two burgeoning ethical dilemmas square in the face. The first centres around a man named Adelin. He is in his 80′s, living in a nursing home and slipping into dementia… The other story revolves around a 33 year old woman. Her name was Eva. She sits talking to the camera on her patio, the trees behind her, birds chirping. “It may seem strange” she says, “but I am looking forward to it. To finally say the battle has been done – it may end now.”
Marc Van Hoey was Eva’s GP: “She had already suffered more than ten years of severe depression,” he says. “What we call endogenous depression. She went through every treatment – medicine, electroshock therapy, psychotherapy.” She exercised her right to refuse treatment… The dog laps water from his bowl. Eva speaks slowly, “The euthanasia is planned for seven p.m.,” in the middle of August. “We haven’t planned the day yet… I don’t think we have to do anything special – just a quiet day as always”…
Alexander Decommere remembers every moment. “It was very quiet, serene, and I remember she was in her comfortable clothes”. She wore a red t-shirt and track pants. “When she lay down on the couch, she had already pulled up her sleeve, and said ‘Let’s end this now… I’m ready.’” Marc Van Hoey finishes the story. “So the euthanasia passed at her place; I did it myself. It was very strange when I saw it on the movie screen, seeing myself. It was very emotional, yes.” “The bond between a patient and a doctor gets so strong by the time the euthanasia takes place that it’s hard. It’s so personal and intimate and so beautiful.” Decommere pauses to find the right words, “It is inherently difficult for anyone who has to do it or to ask for it. It’s ending a person’s life. It’s not easy, but it’s important that these doctors are there.”
With many thanks to Karin Wells, Documentary Producer @ The Sunday Edition for CBC Radio.