Dutch Woman Opts for Euthanasia as Treatment for Untreatable Mental Health Issues

When Mental Illness Overwhelms: One Woman’s Story of Euthanasia in the Netherlands

In May, Zoraya ter Beek, a 28-year-old Dutch woman battling depression, autism and borderline personality disorder for most of her life, decided to undergo euthanasia. Despite having a supportive boyfriend and pets, she felt that her mental illness was beyond treatment. Her decision to pursue euthanasia reflects a growing trend in the Netherlands where more individuals are choosing to end their suffering from mental health issues rather than continue to endure them.

The case of Zoraya ter Beek has sparked a debate among the public. Some view it as a concerning trend where euthanasia is readily used for mental health problems, while others see it as granting terminally ill patients more control over their end-of-life decisions.

According to The Free Press, there is an increasing number of people deciding to end their lives due to various mental health challenges exacerbated by factors such as economic uncertainty, climate change and social media. Healthcare professionals are also more open to considering euthanasia as a viable option for those with psychiatric disorders.

For Zoraya ter Beek’s euthanasia procedure, she will receive a sedative followed by medication that will stop her heart in her home. Her boyfriend will be present during the process and her ashes will be scattered in a designated forest spot.

Euthanasia was legalized in the Netherlands in 2001 and since then, the number of euthanasia deaths has steadily increased. In 2022, it accounted for 5% of all deaths in the country leading to criticism from those who believe the law encourages suicide.

Before taking a leave of absence, Zoraya ter Beek addressed these concerns on social media. She stated that she had tried everything possible but couldn’t take it anymore and that this decision was not made lightly but after careful consideration.

In conclusion, Zoraya ter Beek’s decision to undergo euthanasia due to severe mental health struggles highlights a growing trend in the Netherlands where more individuals are choosing this option rather than continue living with their pain. While some may view this trend with concern others see it as granting greater control over one’s end-of-life decisions for terminally ill patients.

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