June 23, 2024

Serene Nest

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TRIGGER: Dutch woman opts for euthanasia due to unmanageable mental health issues

2 min read

Trigger warning: Some readers may find this story disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised.

A 28-year-old Dutch woman named Zoraya ter Beek is set to undergo euthanasia in May due to severe mental health struggles, as reported by The Free Press. Throughout her life, ter Beek has grappled with depression, autism, and borderline personality disorder. Despite having a supportive boyfriend and pets, she perceives her mental illness as incurable.

Doctors have informed ter Beek that there are no further treatment options available to her. This reflects a growing trend in the Netherlands, where euthanasia is legal, with more people opting to end their suffering from mental health issues rather than endure them.

Ter Beek’s situation has sparked a debate. Some view it as indicative of a worrying tendency among healthcare professionals to readily resort to euthanasia for mental health problems. Others argue that it grants terminally ill patients greater control over their final days.

The Free Press reported that an increasing number of individuals are choosing to end their lives amid a range of mental health issues such as depression or anxiety, which are exacerbated by factors like economic instability, climate change, social media, and other concerns.

“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 healthcare ethicist at Theological University Kampen in the Netherlands, told the outlet.

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


Procedure details for Zoraya ter Beek’s euthanasia

The euthanasia procedure for Zoraya ter Beek will be conducted at her home. Initially, her doctor will administer a sedative, followed by medication to stop her heart. Throughout the process, her boyfriend will be by her side. Following her passing, ter Beek will be cremated, and her ashes will be scattered in a designated forest location.

Also watch | Gravitas | How does your mental health impact your physical health?

The Netherlands legalised euthanasia in 2001, leading to a gradual increase in euthanasia deaths. By 2022, it constituted five per cent of all deaths in the country.

(With inputs from agencies)

If you or someone you know wants help for mental well being, don’t hesitate to talk to a professional. Aasra (Mumbai) 022-27546669, 98204 66726, Sneha (Chennai) 044-24640050, Sumaitri (Delhi) 011-23389090, Cooj (Goa) 0832- 2252525, Jeevan (Jamshedpur) 065-76453841, Pratheeksha (Kochi) 048-42448830, Maithri (Kochi) 0484-2540530, Roshni (Hyderabad) 040-66202000, Lifeline 033-64643267 (Kolkata), Parivarthan (Bangalore) +91 76766 02602.

WION is not associated with any of these organisations and does not make any recommendations.


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