28-Year-Old Dutch Woman With Severe Depression Getting Doctor Endorsed Suicide

fizkes / shutterstock.com
fizkes / shutterstock.com

Despite being physically healthy, a 28-year-old woman named Zoraya ter Beek from a small town in the Netherlands near the German border will be euthanized in May. Planning on being surrounded by her cats and her boyfriend, she has watched her dreams of being a psychiatrist dashed away by her lifelong battles with mental health. Speaking with the Free Press, she claims the decision was made when docs told her the depression wouldn’t get better.

With many Western countries now legalizing the practice of physician-assisted suicides, it is becoming almost socially acceptable. With more conditions than ever eligible for the service, it has changed the landscape of healthcare. For years, terminal illnesses that had no treatment had been allowed physician-assisted suicide in many instances; now, things that can be treated are being used as a way out.

Stef Groenewoud works as a health care ethicist at Theological University Kampen. Based in the Netherlands, her hands-on experience in the trade is invaluable. “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. see the phenomenon especially in people with psychiatric diseases, and especially young people with psychiatric disorders, where the health care professional seems to give up on them more easily than before.”

According to ter Beek, this will be done at home and sounds more like inviting an old friend over for an afternoon around the house than a suicide. She claims the plan is to have the doctor over for a cup of coffee to settle the nerves, then plop down on the couch. After confirming one last time her wishes, the doctor will hook her up and wish her a nice nap. Taking the sedative, ter Beek will then drift off to sleep. Then the second drug that will stop her heart.

Already picking out a spot for her ashes with her boyfriend, ter Beek thinks this permanent solution is the best way to do things. While she says the unknown about the other side is scary, she seems comfortable with her choice to give up.