Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Death of 17 year-old rape victim in the Netherlands was not euthanasia

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Noa Pothoven
It is shocking to read the news about the euthanasia death of Noa Pothoven (17) who was sexually assaulted at age 11 and raped by two men when she was 14. We now learn that some of the english language media did not report her case properly.

An article in Deutche Welle explains that Noa died by refusing food and fluid.

It is a normal response for a woman, who has been raped and violated, to feel that her suffering is unbearable but killing her by lethal drugs or allowing her to die in this manner is abandonment.

The article by Miranda Aldersley that was published in the Daily Mail described the sad case:
The Dutch teenager from Arnhem felt that life had become unbearable and she could no longer carry on after she was attacked and sexually assaulted on three separate occasions, beginning when she was just 11 years old.
The article then quotes from the story in the De Gelderlander newspaper:
According to the Dutch newspaper De Gelderlander, Noa's parents had no idea she was unwell until her mother discovered a plastic envelope in her room filled with farewell letters to her parents, friends and acquaintances.
'I was in shock,' Lisette told De Gelderlander. 'We didn't get it. Noa is sweet, beautiful, smart, social and always cheerful. How is it possible that she wants to die?

'We have never received a real answer. We just heard that her life was no longer meaningful. For only a year and a half have we known what secret she has carried with her over the years.'

That secret, as outlined in her book, was that Noa was assaulted at a schoolfriend's party when she was 11 years old, and one year later at another teenager's party.

At the age of 14, she was raped by two men in the Arnhem neighbourhood of Elderveld - but stayed quiet 'out of fear and shame'. 'I relive the fear, that pain every day,' she said last year. 'Always scared, always on my guard. And to this day my body still feels dirty. My house has been broken into, my body, that can never be undone.'
Noa was living with incredible pain and suffering. 

I am also concerned that reporting that Noa died by a "medically assisted death" (MAiD) may cause others, who have been sexually assaulted, raped and violated to demand death by lethal drugs.

The sad reality of euthanasia is that killing leads to more killing.


Tim said...

It's a pity she never went and reported her rapists, God only knows how many more children were raped because of her silence.

Jane said...

I agree with Tim. Perhaps calling out her attackers could have given her some sense of justice and closure. She should have been given psychiatric help instead of death on demand.

Rose W. said...

@Tim and @Jane That could have been her victory too.