Euthanasia is considered murder in most of the United States, but in the Netherlands is accepted as the “ending of life by a physician at the request of the patient.”
The use of euthanasia is regulated by the Termination of Life on Request and Assisted Suicide Act of 2002, but is completely legal as long as the patient requesting the procedure meets certain conditions.
In 2015, more than 5,000 Dutch patients chose euthanasia. One of those patients was a young woman suffering numerous mental issues as the result of sexual abuse. The story of her death has outraged anti-euthanasia MPs and disability campaigners in Britain, where assisted death is a hotly contested topic.
After suffering through 15 years of PTSD, chronic depression, mental disorders, severe anorexia, and hallucinations as the result of sexual abuse during childhood, a Dutch woman in her 20’s was allowed to choose euthanasia even though she had showed improvements following “intensive therapy.”
Despite marginal improvements and even though many Dutch physicians recognize that a request for death from a mental patient may be no more than a cry for help, the patient’s doctors agreed further treatment was hopeless. The anonymous woman was given a lethal injection.
“It is both horrifying and worrying that mental health professionals could regard euthanasia in any form as an answer to the complex and deep wounds that result from sexual abuse,” argues Nikki Kenward of the disability rights group Distant Voices.
According to the medical report released by the Dutch Euthanasia Commission, the patient was almost entirely bedridden and had described her suffering as “unbearable.” Her PTSD was resistant to treatment and she suffered suicidal mood swings, obsessions and compulsions, and tendencies to self-harm in addition to the afflictions mentioned above.
The papers report a “partially successful” treatment two years ago, but noted that treatment was discontinued after consultants agreed that her case was hopeless. Consultants note that despite her mental issues, the patient was “totally competent” to make the final decision. There was “no major depression or other mood disorder which affected her thinking.”
British Labor MP Robert Flello condemns the case as horrendous. “It almost sends the message that if you are the victim of abuse, and as a result you get a mental illness, you are punished by being killed, that the punishment for the crime of being a victim is death…It serves to reinforce why any move towards legalizing assisted suicide, or assisted dying, is so dangerous.”
“What this woman needed at a desperate point in her young life, was help and support to overcome her problems, not the option of euthanasia,” agrees Tory MP Fiona Bruce.
The British parliament rejected an assisted dying bill last year, but the country continues to lean in favor of passing such a law as it sees a steady flow of people travel to a clinic in Switzerland where euthanasia is legal.
Editor’s Note: This has been a dark year for humanity. We have seen scenarios from the worst horror movies, first the callous sale of human body parts by Planned Parenthood, and now society has sanctioned the suicide of a victim of sexual abuse. Did the doctor assisting this girl to die get paid for it? Will he earn a few extra dollars by selling her body parts? Can’t get my head straight on this…