Explaining that the pain of a childhood rape was “insufferable,” a 17-year-old Dutch girl took advantage of the Netherlands’ assisted suicide law and was euthanized on Sunday.
In her autobiography, “Winning or Learning,” Noa Pothoven recounted her battles with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anorexia after being molested and raped as a young child, reported News.com.au.
She wrote in an Instagram post the day before she died that “after years of battling and fighting, I am drained.”
“After I have quit eating and drinking for a while now, and after many discussions and evaluations, it was decided to let me go because my suffering is unbearable,” Pothoven wrote.
WND reported in 2017 a Dutch psychiatrist whose lawsuit opened the door to allowing assisted suicide in the Netherlands for people suffering depression was having second thoughts.
Boudewijn Chabot, in an article titled “Worrisome Culture Shift in the Context of Self-Selected Death,” decried the new practice of allowing psychiatrists without a therapeutic relationship with a patient to determine whether assisted suicide is permissible under the law.
Wesley Smith, a leading bioethics expert and opponent of assisted suicide and euthanasia, wrote in a column for National Review that he predicted the development.
“Euthanasia consciousness changes mindsets. It alters societal morality,” he said. “It distorts our views of the importance of vulnerable lives. It leads to abandonment and various forms of subtle and blatant coercion. Over time, it can’t be controlled.”
The Netherlands became the first nation to allow assisted suicide after a series of court cases in the 1980s formalized the criteria for it, culminating in a 2002 law. Along with Canada and Belgium, assisted suicide is legal in the U.S. states of Oregon, Washington, California, Colorado, Vermont, Hawaii and Washington, D.C. A New Jersey law will take effect Aug. 1.
In the Netherlands, children can be euthanized if a doctor determines that the patient’s pain is unbearable.
A resident of Arnhem, Holland, Pothoven urged friends and followers on Instagram to “not convince me that this is not good, this is my decision and it is final.”
“Love is letting go, in this case,” she wrote.
Crossing the Rubicon
Chabot also is concerned about people being euthanized against their will.
In his article, he recounted three reports in the Netherlands “of euthanasia of deep-demented persons who could not confirm their death wish.”
In February 2017, a Dutch doctor carrying out a lethal injection on an elderly Alzheimer’s patient ordered her family to restrain her when she resisted, creating what even euthanasia advocates called a “horrible picture.”
The case in Amsterdam, the National Catholic Register reported, was one of several similar instances of resistance, including a sex-abuse victim in her 20s, a 41-year-old alcoholic and a woman with ringing in her ears.
In nearby Belgium, euthanasia was broadened five years ago to include children.
Alistair Thompson of the anti-euthanasia advocacy group Care Not Killing told the Register it’s a typical slippery-slope scenario.
“The problem is that the law always evolves. It’s always pushed on, a little bit, and a little bit,” he said.
“Once you’ve crossed the Rubicon, it becomes people who are not mentally competent, people who are frail or weary of life.”