Trigger warning – Suicide

I read today about a 17 year old girl from the Netherlands whose struggle with severe mental ill health including anorexia nervosa led to her tragic death. The news broadcasters have widely reported that she was granted euthanasia by authorities. This isn’t true. After being refused electro shock therapy due to her age, she instead took to her bed and eventually began refusing food or fluids. The decision was made not to force feed her, and palliative care began, where she was surrounded by her family until the day she died.
This has raised many thoughts in my mind since I read about it. I am and always will be an advocate for euthanasia in cases of suffering. I make no apologies for that. A lot of people believe the same, but only when it refers to physical and life limiting conditions. A person should always be in control of their own destiny, that is what freedom truly means. To the people who believe that mental illness should never be included in the criteria for euthanasia, I urge you to consider what suffering really is. To live in a world day by endless day, fighting with your own mind. Some people would suggest that things do get better with the right treatment, that mental illness is fleeting, good and bad. For some, it just doesn’t work that way. For some, it’s a torture that never goes away. Then ask yourself, if it were you, would you want to die alone? Because that’s what happens when you end your own life. Nobody is there to hold your hand, it’s just one final trauma that you face entirely alone. Is that fair? How is it ever fair?

RIP Noa x


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