Thursday, April 4, 2024

Autistic 28-year-old Dutch woman scheduled to die by euthanasia

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director
Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Rupa Subramanya reported for the Free Press on April 1 that Zoraya ter Beek, an Autistic Dutch woman (28) who has depression, is scheduled to die by euthanasia in early May. Subramanya reports:
Ter Beek, who lives in a little Dutch town near the German border, once had ambitions to become a psychiatrist, but she was never able to muster the will to finish school or start a career. She said she was hobbled by her depression and autism and borderline personality disorder. Now she was tired of living—despite, she said, being in love with her boyfriend, a 40-year-old IT programmer, and living in a nice house with their two cats.

She recalled her psychiatrist telling her that they had tried everything, that “there’s nothing more we can do for you. It’s never gonna get any better.”
At that point, she said, she decided to die. “I was always very clear that if it doesn’t get better, I can’t do this anymore.”
Subramanya outlines one of the weaknesses with the Dutch euthanasia law by stating:
When she’s dead, a euthanasia review committee will evaluate her death to ensure the doctor adhered to “due care criteria,” and the Dutch government will (almost certainly) declare that the life of Zoraya ter Beek was lawfully ended.
Notice how the euthanasia review committee will examine her death after she has died, not before she has died. Subramanya reports ter Beek as stating:
“I’m a little afraid of dying, because it’s the ultimate unknown,” she said. “We don’t really know what’s next—or is there nothing? That’s the scary part.”
The story of Zoraya ter Beek has some similarities to the story of the 27-year-old autistic Calgary woman who was approved for euthanasia but whose father is attempting to prevent the death through the courts (Link).

Subramanya then states:
Typically, when we think of people who are considering assisted suicide, we think of people facing terminal illness. But this new group is suffering from other syndromes—depression or anxiety exacerbated, they say, by economic uncertainty, the climate, social media, and a seemingly limitless array of fears and disappointments.
Professor Theo Boer was a member of the Netherlands Euthanasia Review Committee for 10 years. Subramanya interviewed Boer and writes:
“I entered the review committee in 2005, and I was there until 2014,” Boer told me. “In those years, I saw the Dutch euthanasia practice evolve from death being a last resort to death being a default option.” He ultimately resigned.

Boer had in mind people like Zoraya ter Beek—who, critics argue, have been tacitly encouraged to kill themselves by laws that destigmatize suicide, a social media culture that glamorizes it, and radical right-to-die activists who insist we should be free to kill ourselves whenever our lives are “complete.”
Subramanya concludes:
They have fallen victim, in critics’ eyes, to a kind of suicide contagion.

Statistics suggest these critics have a point.

In 2001, the Netherlands became the first country in the world to make euthanasia legal. Since then, the number of people who increasingly choose to die is startling.

5 comments: said...

Without self respect we quickly disrespect each other and thus begins our slippery slope towards the complete loss of respect for human life. There’s a principle in the Bible which Jesus taught, recorded in Matthew 24:12 ”And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.“

Anonymous said...

Hi Alex! I am very concerned for this young woman. I have been through a lot and some similar instances and I needed encouragement from loved ones to see better cognitive reasoning when I have faced similar very dark times. Is there any way that I could send you a letter for her that you can supervise and then send to her? Thank you!PS I can't figure how to use my Google email here.
times. I have suffered a lot and it sounds as if she certai lying has too. Is there any way that I could send her an encouraging letter that you could even supervise before then sending to her? Thank you making this known. If so

Janice said...

Wanting to commit or attempting suicide was symptomatic of a mental health problem and in most cases it meant depression.
No doubt this woman is probably on anti-depressants or multiple forms of anti-depressants that simply exacerbate the depression.
Look at Naomi Judd. She was so drugged up, she had no control over her depression.
I cannot say I have sympathy for this woman who is involved in a relationship and is willing to subject him to this narcissistic goal. There could many underlying and illogical motives in this and like the Alberta case, but they cannot be uncovered if the government is enabling her impractical and imbalanced thought process.


Yes, the Dutch system has a fundamental weakness that should be avoided when Canada extends the right-to-die for psychological problems: The review of the validity of the REASONS for choosing death should be done BEFORE the death, rather than AFTER.
Here are 16 recommended safeguards that might be considered by Canada. All of these procedures are used BEFORE death is approved. BEST MAiD SAFEGUARDS FOR 'MENTAL ILLNESS'.

Carol V said...

This is so sad. Depression is not a terminal illness. My son has autism and suffers with depression, but I would be devastated if he decided to kill himself and there were doctors and judges who were willing to help him do it.