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Netherlands allows assisted suicide for 29 year old woman with mental illness

31 January 2018


Aurelia Brouwers shortly before her death.

Where does it end? 

On Saturday, a 29 year old woman who suffered from severe mental illness died in the Netherlands, after her request for assisted suicide was granted.

Aurelia Brouwers died at home after doctors agreed to her request for assisted suicide for "unbearable and hopeless psychological suffering". According to Netherlands RTL news, Aurelia struggled with severe psychological problems from an early age, including depression, psychosis, and hearing voices. She also made several suicide attempts, and spent time both in a psychiatric hospital and in prison.

Tragic loss of hope

She wrote on her blog:  "I am Aurelia, 29 years and I have a Borderline Personality Disorder, chronic and complex PTSD, addiction, anxiety disorders and many more mental issues. Because of my mental problems I asked for euthanasia and December 6 I heard my wish was granted. My euthanasia is planned for January 26. Final release! My hobbies are reading, writing, knitting, crochet, PixelHobby, languages and tv-series. I also spend my time fighting for euthanasia for mentally ill patients and euthanasia around the world. This is because I know I am a lucky bastard living in the Netherlands regarding euthanasia. I think everyone should have the chances I have."

Slippery slope

The story was promoted in the Dutch press, with an article before her death recounting the "long and difficult road" to get permission for euthanasia, and another extolling her "worthy death" after "a rotten life".

According to RTL Nieuws, "9% of requests in the Netherlands for euthanasia due to unbearable and hopeless psychological suffering are honoured," although euthanasia for people younger than 30 is very exceptional.

This state sanctioned killing of a physically healthy young woman will likely raise more concerns about the expansion of euthanasia in the Netherlands - a country where a woman with dementia held down and lethally injected, alcoholics meet the criteria for assisted suicide, and there are plans to introduce it for those who have "completed life."  

News in brief:

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