Dutch Woman Opts for Euthanasia Because of Incurable Mental Health Challenges

The Controversial Choice: One Woman’s Journey to End her Life Through Euthanasia Due to Mental Health Struggles in the Netherlands

Dutch woman, Zoraya ter Beek, has made the decision to end her life through euthanasia in May due to her severe mental health struggles. At 28 years old, she has battled depression, autism, and borderline personality disorder throughout her life. Despite having a loving boyfriend and pets, she feels that her mental illness is untreatable and doctors have informed her there are no further treatment options available.

Ter Beek’s decision aligns with a growing trend in the Netherlands where euthanasia is legal. More individuals are choosing to end their suffering from mental health issues rather than endure them. However, her case has sparked debate among healthcare professionals and the public. Some see it as a concerning trend of readily resorting to euthanasia for mental health problems while others argue that it grants terminally ill patients more control over their final days.

Stef Groenewoud, a healthcare ethicist, has observed that healthcare professionals may be more willing to consider euthanasia as an option for young people with psychiatric disorders. This trend is amplified by economic uncertainty, climate change, and social media which have caused a myriad of mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.

The procedure for ter Beek’s euthanasia will take place at home with her boyfriend by her side. Her doctor will administer a sedative followed by medication to stop her heart after which she will be cremated and her ashes scattered in a designated forest spot. The Netherlands legalized euthanasia in 2001 and since then the number of euthanasia deaths has steadily increased leading to criticism from those who believe the law encourages suicide but ter Beek addressed these concerns on social media before taking leave of absence.

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