After she was sexually assaulted and raped throughout her childhood, a Dutch girl, 17, wanted nothing more than for her life to end. Depression consumed her every waking moment and made life utter torture for her. But instead of committing suicide, the young girl who had been diagnosed with such complications as depression, anorexia, and post-traumatic stress disorder, decided to contact an “end of life clinic” and ask them to do the one thing she wanted more than anything – to end her miserable life as soon as possible.
The girl’s name is Noa Pothoven. She is from Arnhem, Holland. She died last Sunday in a hospital bed from her living room after the end of life clinic did what they do best, assisted suicide.
The teenager was allowed to die after medics approved that she refuses food and drink. Because life had become unbearable for her and she had no hope of carrying on into the future, she decided that ending her life was the responsible choice.
The girl’s abuses were horrible. From the age of eleven, she was sexually assaulted on three separate occasions, all resulting in insurmountable trauma that made it impossible for her to keep going.
In Holland, children as young as age 12 are allowed to partake in the ritual of assisted suicide. All they have to do is desire it, and it can happen. But this can only happen after a doctor verifies that the person is suffering from unbearable pain that has no end in sight.
Doctors confirmed that this was the case for the 17-year-old victim of sexual violence.
In the Netherlands, more than 6,500 people chose to end their lives in 2017 with assisted suicide. That amounted to more than 4 percent of the total number of deaths across the entire country. It is becoming an alarmingly popular way for people to die in that European country.
Although the practice is contested across the world, it is legal in the United States, in some states, as well as in Belgium, and Canada. It is not legal in the United Kingdom, because it is seen as an immoral practice whether or not it offers relief to the suffering patient.
Because Noa knew her life was ending, she turned to social media to share one last message about her decision.
“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 hospitalization, 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.”
She added that since the assaults she has never felt “alive,” writing instead “I breathe, but I no longer live.”
What do you think about her decision to end her life?
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