(LifeSiteNews) – A 23-year-old French social media star known as “Olympe” triggered an avalanche of press articles and debate when she announced that she would travel to Belgium before the end of the year for assisted suicide. The young woman, who has over 255,000 followers on YouTube and up to 900,000 views on TikTok for some of her videos, claimed that her dissociative identity disorder has become too distressing and that she wants to die. But not yet – the young woman intends to enjoy a number of things she judges life still has in store for her before stepping out of this world.
Is this a realistic option? A Belgian doctor who acknowledges that he performs about one euthanasia per month, Yves De Locht, answered an interview by the French daily Le Parisien earlier this week in which he said that “Olympe” has in no way completed the lengthy screening by doctors and psychiatrists required under Belgian law in order to obtain euthanasia or medically assisted suicide for mental health reasons. He said the process usually takes months and even years and complained that “false impressions” pushed by French opponents to euthanasia have created the notion that assisted suicide is available for all in Belgium. “We don’t want to become France’s death camp,” he grumbled. Of which more later…
Although “Olympe” pulled her first video from the internet within ten minutes of its publication, it had already been copied and reposted, leading her to expand on her plans and complain about people who aired negative opinions on her personal choice.
“This is not a debate,” she angrily remarked. If she wants to end her life, she implied, that’s nobody’s business, which is ironic because she chose to air her plans in the first place and is now asking for more and more attention.
Her story is a sad one. Lily – her real name – was abandoned by her “dysfunctional” family and underwent a series of traumatic experiences ranging from pedophilia to rape; she suffered from addictions and eating disorders and was only conclusively diagnosed with multiple personality disorder when she was 21. She uses her YouTube channel as well as the Chinese-run TikTok platform in order to talk about her mental health problems with the hope of helping others.
Dissociative identity disorder (DID) involves the presence of two or more “personality states” or distinct identities together with severe memory gaps, often paired with depression and anxiety. It is associated with childhood trauma.
In Lily’s case, “Olympe” is the collective name she has given to her 12 to 15 recurring “personalities” or “alters,” some of which are benevolent while others are harmful, pushing the young woman to suicide. That, at any rate, is what she explains and, in a way, exploits on her social media platform thanks to careful scripting and staging, savvy filming, and commercial brand sponsoring. Her TikTok account includes hundreds of glamourous pictures that look professionally posed and doctored, suggesting that a team is at work here.
It would seem that Lily is a genuine victim of a severe psychiatric problem that causes a great deal of suffering; she was interviewed at length at the beginning of 2022 on French national television under two identities and later claimed that she had no memory of what she said in the segment under the name of “Lucie.”
She has given several interviews: two years ago she explained to Cosmopolitan that one of her “alters” is gender-fluid and another is “non-binary.” She insisted that she is not “possessed” and that her condition – for which there is no cure – has “nothing to do with religion.” The only offered therapy would be to learn to live and cooperate, and at best to “merge” with her alters, but stress and trauma can always make new “identities” appear.
It is a strange condition, to say the least, and one is inclined to think that besides psychiatric care, spiritual assistance could help Lily, especially when the desire to take her own life appears to have taken the upper hand. In her 2022 interview, she noted that her “benevolent alter” Lucie was the result of a dissociation from a “malevolent alter” named Lucifa.
Whatever is behind all this, Lily is a social media influencer whose clear intention is to act as a role model for the young and very young public of questionable platforms such as TikTok, where teenagers pathetically stage themselves, often provocatively using sexualized imagery, in order to attract attention. And whatever her warnings, and her claims that she doesn’t want to incite the mentally ill to resort to taking their own lives, her public airing of her intentions (whether these are implemented or not), have implications for society and especially for the young. This is no longer a private business, but one where she probably needs better help than she’s been getting, and where the young and fragile must be protected.
As to the Belgian doctor who stressed that Belgian law would not allow a young woman like Lily to obtain euthanasia in a snap of the finger, Yves De Locht, his reaction is hardly less acceptable. He is a well-known proponent of legal euthanasia – he published a book on the subject in 2018 – and the main pitch of his talk with Le Parisien was to say that the Belgian euthanasia law is misunderstood deliberately “caricatured by the French, especially by those who oppose euthanasia law and sprout any amount of rubbish.” As France is gearing up for the parliamentary debate on euthanasia, the Olympe-De Locht debate seems to be helping along the idea that the Belgian situation is reasonable and full of safeguards and protections: an argument against the “slippery slope” narrative.
De Locht told Le Parisien that he had “not yet seen” the young woman’s medical files but had “read her e-mails”: “She wants to have a meeting with me.”
He said that this poses several problems: “First of all, there’s her age. It is possible to euthanize young people but that requires certification from specialists that there is no cure for their illness… It will be a long and difficult path to go down.”
He added: “This young lady has announced that her life will end before the end of the year. This date is certainly not one that I have set. I need a lot more information before I can consider offering her a consultation.”
On Thursday, “Olympe” posted an angry reaction saying that she had never “seen” De Locht in her life and that she had contacted another doctor in Belgium than he. “He’s using my life to promote his book,” she said.
But perhaps she’s really being used in other ways, and to other ends.