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Tipsheet

Here's the Shocking Reason Why This 28-Year-Old Will Be Euthanized

A physically healthy 28-year-old Dutch woman will end her life through assisted suicide due to crippling depression, autism, and borderline personality disorder, according to a report from The Free Press.

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The woman, Zoraya ter Beek, lives in Netherlands near the German border. She is scheduled to be euthanized in May over her “untreatable” mental health struggles. Ter Beek previously aspired to be a psychiatrist, but “was never able to muster the will to finish school or start a career.” 

Not to mention, a mental health professional who was treating Ter Beek reportedly told her, “There’s nothing more we can do for you. It’s never gonna get any better.” These remarks pushed Ter Beek to make the decision to legally end her life. 

“I was always very clear that if it doesn’t get better, I can’t do this anymore,” she said (via The Free Press):

As if to advertise her hopelessness, ter Beek has a tattoo of a “tree of life” on her upper left arm, but “in reverse.”

“Where the tree of life stands for growth and new beginnings,” she texted, “my tree is the opposite. It is losing its leaves, it is dying. And once the tree died, the bird flew out of it. I don’t see it as my soul leaving, but more as myself being freed from life.”

Ter Beek plans to die in her home after a doctor administers a sedative followed by a drug that will stop her heartbeat. Her plan is to be cremated and her boyfriend to scatter her ashes in the woods near their home. 

Reportedly, Ter Beek does not plan on having a funeral, because she “doesn’t have much family” and “doesn’t think her friends will feel like going.”

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The Free Press noted that Ter Beek is part of a growing group of people choosing to end their lives over mental illness and other conditions as a kind of “suicide contagion.”

“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,” Stef Groenewoud, a healthcare ethicist at Theological University Kampen, in the Netherlands, told the outlet. “I see the phenomenon especially in people with psychiatric diseases, and especially young people with psychiatric disorders, where the healthcare professional seems to give up on them more easily than before.”

Theo Boer, a healthcare ethics professor at Protestant Theological University in Groningen, said that he served on a euthanasia review board in the Netherlands for ten years before resigning. 

“I entered the review committee in 2005, and I was there until 2014,” Boer told the outlet. “In those years, I saw the Dutch euthanasia practice evolve from death being a last resort to death being a default option.”

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