17-year-old Dutch girl who was raped as a young child is legally euthanized at her home after losing battle to depression
'After years of battling and fighting, I am drained... after many discussions and evaluations, it was decided to let me go because my suffering is unbearable', she wrote 10 days before she died
A 17-year-old Dutch girl, who was raped as a young child, has been legally euthanized at her home. The teen, identified as Noa Pothoven, enlisted the assistance of an "end-of-life clinic" after she felt she could no longer live battling depression.
Pothoven died in a hospital bed in her living room after she was granted the right to euthanasia in The Hague, Netherlands. The teenager from Arnhem reportedly felt that she could no longer carry on with her life because it had become unbearable for her.
She reportedly wrote an autobiography titled 'Winning or Learning' about her battles with mental illness after being molested and raped when she was a child. Pothoven, as a result, suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anorexia.
The teen said that she wanted her book to help vulnerable youngsters who struggle with their lives, adding that the Netherlands does not have specialized institutions or clinics where teens can go for psychological or physical aid, according to a Daily Mail report.
"I deliberated for quite a while whether or not I should share this, but decided to do it anyway," Pothoven wrote. "Maybe this comes as a surprise to some, given my posts about hospitalization, but my plan has been there for a long time and is not impulsive."
"I will get straight to the point: within a maximum of 10 days, I will die. After years of battling and fighting, I am drained. I have quit eating and drinking for a while now, and after many discussions and evaluations, it was decided to let me go because my suffering is unbearable," she continued. Pothoven added that she has never felt "alive" and has rather been surviving. She wrote: "I breathe, but I no longer live."
The teen also asked her friends and followers on Instagram to "not convince me that this is not good, this is my decision and it is final. Love is letting go, in this case."
Euthanasia, according to Dutch law, is legal as long as it is performed in accordance with the strict standards described in the Termination of Life on Request and Assisted Suicide (Review Procedures) Act. The legislation was passed in parliament in 2001 and in 2002 it became law. According to the act code: "Any person who deliberately terminates another person's life at that person's express and earnest request shall be liable to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 12 years or a fifth-category fine. But prosecutions can be suspended for doctors who carry out the practice under strict prerequisites."
Reports state that children as young as 12 can be granted euthanasia if they desire, however, only after a doctor concludes that the patient's suffering is unbearable with no clear treatment in sight. According to the Regional Euthanasia Review Committee, nearly 6,585 people chose euthanasia to end their own lives in the Netherlands in 2017, accounting to 4.4 percent of the total number of registered deaths that year in the country.
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