Dutch Woman Opts for Euthanasia Because of Incurable Mental Health Challenges

Dutch Woman Chooses Euthanasia Over Mental Health Struggles: A Growing Trend in the Netherlands?

In May, 28-year-old Zoraya ter Beek, a Dutch woman, decided to undergo euthanasia due to her severe mental health struggles. She battled depression, autism, and borderline personality disorder throughout her life, despite having a loving boyfriend and pets. Ter Beek feels that her mental illness is untreatable, as doctors have informed her that there are no further treatment options available to her.

This 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, ter Beek’s 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.

The increasing number of people facing mental health issues such as depression and anxiety amplifies this issue even further. Economic uncertainty, climate change, and social media exacerbate these problems. 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.

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 a leave of absence

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