Update: The Levenseindekliniek (end of life) clinic in the Hague said they cannot make a statement due to privacy rules but referred to a statement issued by Noa’s friends which read: “Noa Pothoven did not die of euthanasia. To stop her suffering, she has stopped eating and drinking.”
A teenage girl who was raped as a child has committed suicide in her living room with the assistance of an ‘end-of-life-clinic’.
Noa Pothoven, from the Netherlands, said her suffering was unbearable after she was sexually assaulted on three occasions, beginning when she was just 11-years-old.
The 17-year-old, who was convinced that death was the solution to her suffering, was granted the right to commit suicide by legal euthanasia last Sunday.
Noa announced her decision on social media the day before her suicide, saying: “I deliberated for quite a while whether or not I should share this, but decided to do it anyway.
“Maybe this comes as a surprise to some, given my posts about hospitalisation, but my plan has been there for a long time and is not impulsive.
“I will get straight to the point: within a maximum of 10 days, I will die. After years of battling and fighting, I am drained. 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.”
Sadly, Noa will not be an isolated case, as long as suicide is presented as a solution and a legitimate means of ending suffering and escaping what feels inescapable.
People don’t usually choose to end their life while in the right state of mind. They only ever reach that point because they’ve believed the lie of euthanasia.
The word ‘euthanasia’ literally means ‘good death’. It’s considered ‘good’ because assisted suicide is presented as the best option, or even the only option, in some instances.
But should we really be telling the most vulnerable in society, those who suffer severe depression, crippling anxiety, or chronic illness, that suicide is a viable option, at least for some people?
One of the major causes of suicide is mental illness. Up to 90% of people who die by suicide suffer from mental illness at the time of their death. In fact, suicide is said to be the leading cause of death for people affected by mental illness, with one in ten people affected committing suicide. The most common mental illness is said to be depression.
Death is the final indignity, no matter what form it takes. The message of assisted suicide deceptively suggests otherwise. Euthanasia, the ‘good death’, cannot be preached without falsely portraying suicide as a solution for some.
The notion that suicide is, at times, the best option will no doubt have a tragic impact on vulnerable people who might have otherwise recovered, at least to the point where they no longer wish to take their own lives.