Teenage girl is legally euthanised after being raped as a child
A 17-year-old girl has died by legal euthanasia following a years-long battle with depression and anorexia after she was raped as a young child.
Noa Pothoven, of Arnhem in the Netherlands, explained the choice to end her own life in a now-private Instagram post last week, saying the trauma she struggled to live with following a childhood rape had become insufferable.
"After years of fighting and battling, I am drained," she wrote.
"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."
The teen, who published an autobiography in 2018 called Winning or Learningdetailing her struggles with PTSD, depression, anorexia and self-harm, also asked her followers to not try to talk her out of her decision, adding that it was "final" and "not impulsive".
"Love is letting go, in this case," she ended her post.
Noa's sister, Isa Pothoven, took to Instagram following the teen's assisted suicide on Sunday to share a moving tribute, remembering her loved one as a "sweet, beautiful and caring person."
"Sleep well sweetheart, we will miss you," she wrote in a now-deleted post.
"Close your eyes and think of the beautiful place where you will go. We will have to let you go."
Doctors must deem life is 'unbearable'
Dutch law allows euthanasia as long as it is performed in accordance with the stringent terms of the controversial "Termination of Life on Request and Assisted Suicide (Review Procedures) Act," which became law in 2002.
The code states that doctors may honour a patient's appeal for euthanasia provided that the request is voluntary and well-considered, and the person's suffering has been deemed unbearable with no prospect of improvement.
Doctors must also inform the patient of his or her situation and further prognosis, and the two must come to the joint conclusion that there is no other reasonable solution.
At least one other physician with no connection to the case must then see the patient and state, in writing, that the attending physician satisfied the due care criteria outlined by the code.
Children as young as 12 can seek euthanasia in the Netherlands, although patients younger than 16 years old need parental consent to do so.
In 2017, the country saw a reported 6,585 deaths by legal euthanasia.
Human euthanasia is illegal in Australia, however assisted suicide will become legal in the state of Victoria this year.
- This article first appeared on Yahoo