Physically healthy Dutch woman, 28, decides to be euthanized due to crippling depression

A physically healthy 28-year-old Dutch woman has decided to legally end her life due to her struggles with crippling depression, autism and borderline personality disorder, according to a report.

Zoraya ter Beek, who lives in a small village in the Netherlands near the German border, is scheduled to be euthanized in May despite being in love with her boyfriend of 40 years and living with two cats.

Ter Beek, who once aspired to be a psychiatrist, has struggled with mental health issues throughout his life.

Zoraya ter Beek, 28, will die by assisted suicide in May. RTL News

She said she decided to be euthanized after her doctors told her: There’s nothing more we can do for you. It will never get better, according to The Free Press.

I was always very clear that if it doesn’t get better, I can’t do it anymore, ter Beek said.

She is just one of a growing number of people in the West who have chosen to die rather than continue to live with pain that, unlike a terminal illness, could be treated.

More people are choosing to end their lives while suffering from a range of other mental health issues such as depression or anxiety amplified by economic uncertainty, climate change, social media and other issues, The Free Press reported.

Ter Beek said she will be administered the life-ending drug on her couch with her boyfriend by her side. RTL News

I see that euthanasia is kind of an acceptable option put on the table by doctors, by psychiatrists, when it used to be a last resort, said Stef Groenewoud, a health ethicist at the Theological University of Kampen in the Netherlands.

I see the phenomenon especially in people with psychiatric illnesses, and especially in young people with psychiatric disorders, where the health professional seems to give up more easily than before, he added.

Ter Beek plans to be cremated after being euthanized on her living room sofa. There is no music, he said.

A doctor will first give you a sedative, followed by a medicine that will stop your heart. Her boyfriend will be by her side until the end.

The doctor really takes his time. It’s not like they come in and say, lie down please! Most of the time it’s a cup of coffee first to calm the nerves and create a gentle atmosphere, he said.

He then asks me if I’m ready. I’ll take my place on the couch. He’ll ask again if I’m sure, start the procedure, and wish me a safe trip. Or, in my case, a good nap, because I hate people saying, Safe travels. I’m not going anywhere.

Euthanasia has been legal in the Netherlands since 2001. AFP via Getty Images

There will be no funeral. Ter Beek, who doesn’t have much family, said her boyfriend will spread her ashes in a nice spot in the woods they’ve chosen.

I’m a little afraid of dying, because it’s the ultimate unknown, she said. Do we really not know what’s next or is there nothing at all? This is the scary part.

The Netherlands became the first country in the world to legalize assisted suicide in 2001. Since then, it has become an increasingly popular option among the population.

In 2022, there were 8,720 euthanasia deaths in the Netherlands, which is about 5% of all deaths in the country and 14% more than the previous year, according to Dutch media.

In February, former Dutch Prime Minister Dries van Agt, 93, and his wife died holding hands by euthanasia.

Critics of legalizing suicide say people like Ter Beek have been encouraged to kill themselves by the law, with many comparing the rise in suicide to a contagion, according to The Free Press.

Ter Beek criticized the Free Press article on Twitter on Tuesday and announced that he would be leaving social media before his death.

“It was an honor for me to provide information to people who were open to learning something,” she posted.

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