Dutch Woman Opted for Euthanasia Because of Incurable Mental Health Challenges

The case of Zoraya ter Beek has sparked a heated debate in the Netherlands. The 28-year-old woman, who has been struggling with severe mental health issues such as depression, autism, and borderline personality disorder for years, made the decision to undergo euthanasia in May due to her condition’s incurability. Despite having a supportive boyfriend and pets, ter Beek feels that she needs to end her suffering permanently.

After being informed by doctors that there were no further treatment options available to her, ter Beek decided to end her life through euthanasia. This decision reflects a growing trend in the Netherlands, where euthanasia is legal as more individuals are choosing to take control of their final days rather than endure prolonged suffering.

The case of ter Beek has sparked discussions among the public, with some people seeing it as a concerning trend of healthcare professionals resorting to euthanasia for mental health issues while others view it as a way to grant terminally ill patients more agency in their end-of-life decisions.

In recent years, more individuals have been considering euthanasia as an acceptable option for ending their lives due to various stressors such as economic uncertainty, climate change, and social media exacerbating mental health issues. Healthcare ethicists in the Netherlands have raised concerns about the increasing acceptance of euthanasia for psychiatric disorders, especially among young people.

Ter Beek’s euthanasia procedure will take place at her home where her doctor will administer a sedative followed by medication to stop her heart. Her boyfriend will be present during the procedure, and she will be cremated with her ashes scattered in a designated forest spot. The legalization of euthanasia in the Netherlands in 2001 has led to an increase in the number of deaths each year; in 2022, euthanasia accounted for 5% of all deaths in the country fueling criticism from those who believe the law may encourage suicide.

Prior to taking a leave of absence from social media platform Twitter earlier this year, ter Beek addressed these concerns by sharing her story on Instagram and Facebook.

In conclusion, while some see Ter Beek’s decision as troubling evidence that healthcare professionals are using euthanasia too readily for mental health issues others see it as an example of how individuals need more autonomy over their lives when faced with serious medical conditions that cannot be treated effectively.

By Sophia Gonzalez

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