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Euthanasia in the Netherlands: Woman with Mental Health Problems Granted Euthanasia – The Controversy and Process Explained

2024-04-03 16:07:58

03 April 2024, 09:37 PM IST Soraya Ter Beek| Photo: Twitter/ZorayaTerBeek

A twenty-eight-year-old woman suffering from incurable mental health problems has been granted euthanasia. The Free Press reports that Soraya Ter Beek, a native of the Netherlands, will be euthanized next May. Seraya was struggling with depression, autism and borderline personality disorder.

The possibility of euthanasia was sought when the doctors informed that there was no solution to Soraya’s mental health problems. The Netherlands is also a country where euthanasia is legal. Reports say that this is also encouraging the choice of suicide due to health problems.

With the news of Soraya coming out, there are also differences of opinion. The main criticism is that such incidents will increase the number of people receiving euthanasia due to mental health problems. While doctors and psychiatrists used to choose euthanasia as a last resort, today it is increasingly accepted, says Stef Groenewood from the Theological University of the Netherlands. He said that compared to earlier, health workers are easily dismissing those who come with mental health problems.

Soraya, who wanted to become a psychiatrist, faced mental health problems throughout her life. Soraya said that she decided to accept euthanasia when the doctors told her that nothing more could be done for her and that she was never going to get better. Soraya said that she had already decided that she would not be able to continue with the situation if it did not get better.

Soraya also spoke about the process of accepting euthanasia. The doctor never tells you to lie down and begins euthanasia as soon as he arrives. Instead, he will ask if he is ready. Again he will be asked if he is sure about this decision. Then they start the process and wish themselves good luck. Wish him a good night’s sleep. Because she doesn’t want to wish her a safe journey, because she’s not going anywhere, says Soraya.

Euthanasia is being performed at Soraya’s house. The doctor will first put you under sedation and then give you medicine to stop the heartbeat. Seraya’s boyfriend will also be with her this time. Soraya has told her boyfriend not to do the posthumous rituals for her.

Last February, the former Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Dries van Aht, and his wife, Eugenie, accepted euthanasia. Both were 93 years old. He was not fully recovered from a brain hemorrhage in 2019. Both had said that they were accepting euthanasia together because they could not separate from each other.

The Netherlands legalized euthanasia in 2001. According to the law, euthanasia can be done in six situations such as unbearable suffering and a condition where there is no possibility of recovery. The number of euthanasia has also increased. In 2022, five percent of deaths in the country were euthanasia. There are also voluntary groups in the Netherlands that facilitate euthanasia with the help of doctors. According to the organization Expertisecentrum Euthanasiae, 1,000 Dutch people are euthanized a year.

Many countries have legalized assisted suicide. Euthanasia is permitted in Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, parts of the United States, and parts of Australia. Canada is preparing to allow euthanasia for seriously mentally ill patients.

What is euthanasia?

The word euthanasia is derived from the Greek language and means Good Death. Euthanasia is the act of ending a person’s life in order to ‘relieve’ him from physical pain or suffering. There are two types of euthanasia – Active Euthanasia and Passive Euthanasia. Active euthanasia involves helping a patient commit suicide.

Active euthanasia involves ending a person’s life by injecting or otherwise administering drugs that cause death. Passive euthanasia, on the other hand, allows the person to die by withdrawing or not allowing life-sustaining systems such as a ventilator or feeding tube. In the one, it helps to die intentionally while in the other it allows it to die intentionally. In both cases it is the same murder, only the difference is euthanasia.

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