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Dutch woman’s decision to legally end her life sparks euthanasia debate



A Dutch woman aged 28 has decided to legally end her life due to her struggle with crippling depression, autism and personality disorder, said a report by the Free Press.

Zoraya ter Beek, living in a small village in the Netherlands near the German border, is scheduled to be euthanised in May, the report added.

The woman has been dealing with mental health issues throughout her life.

Zoraya, who has a 40-year-old boyfriend and lives with two cats, once aspired to be a psychiatrist. 

According to the report, she decided to be euthanised after her psychiatrist told her that they had tried everything and “there’s nothing more we can do for you. It’s never gonna get any better.” 

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“I was always very clear that if it doesn’t get better, I can’t do this anymore,” the report quoted Zoraya as saying.

According to the laws of the Dutch government, a doctor will administer a sedative, followed by a drug that will stop Zoraya’s heart.

When she’s dead, a euthanasia review panel will evaluate her death to ensure the doctor adhered to “due care criteria,” and the Dutch government will declare that the life of Zoraya ter Beek was lawfully ended.

Zoraya’s plan is to be cremated after death.

“I did not want to burden my partner with having to keep the grave tidy,” Zoraya said, as per the report.

More people are deciding to end their lives while suffering from a slew of mental health problems like depression or anxiety amplified by economic uncertainty, climate change, social media and other issues, the Free Press reported.

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“I’m seeing euthanasia as some sort of acceptable option brought to the table by physicians, by psychiatrists, when previously it was the ultimate last resort,” Stef Groenewoud, a health care ethicist at Theological University Kampen, in the Netherlands, told the Free Press.

“I see the phenomenon in people with psychiatric diseases, and especially young people with psychiatric disorders, where the health care professional seems to give up on them more easily than before,” she added.

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Published: 03 Apr 2024, 10:52 PM IST

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