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A 28-year-old Dutch woman named Zoraya ter Beek has decided to end her life legally, following a prolonged battle with depression, autism, and borderline personality disorder. The woman is slated to be euthanised in May this year, the Free Press, a US-based media outlet, has reported.

“There’s nothing more we can do for you. It’s never going to get any better,” ter Beek recalled her psychiatrist telling her. It was at that point in her life, she said, that she made up her mind to die.

Ter Beek lives in a village in the Netherlands, and once wanted to become a psychiatrist herself. However, due to her medical challenges, she was never able to finish school or start a career, the report states. Currently, she lives with two cats and her partner, a 40-year-old IT programmer.

Ter Beek has decided that she will be cremated, and her ashes spread in an area she has already chosen.

“I did not want to burden my partner with having to keep the grave tidy,” ter Beek was quoted as saying in the report. 

Euthanasia is legal in the Netherlands if “the criteria laid down in the Dutch Termination of Life on Request and Assisted Suicide (Review Procedures) Act are fully observed”.

What Is Euthanasia?

Euthanisation is an act of intentionally ending the life of a person or animal to relieve suffering. It is typically done in the context of a severe injury or terminal illness. It is often performed by administering drugs, inducing a painless death.

The word ‘euthanasia’ comes from the Greek words ‘eu (good)’ and ‘Thanatos (death)’. The idea behind euthanisation is to allow a patient to experience a relatively ‘good death’ instead of leaving them to face a slow, painful, or undignified death, according to the School of Medicine, University of Missouri.

How The Procedure Will Take Place

Ter Beek told Free Press that she views the process as being freed from life. Her “liberation”, she said, will take place at home.

“I will be going on the couch in the living room,” the report quoted her as saying.

Revealing the details about the procedure, she said: “The doctor really takes her time. It is not that they walk in and say: lay down, please! Most of the time it is first a cup of coffee to settle the nerves and create a soft atmosphere. Then she asks if I am ready.”

After asking her once more if she is ready, the doctor will then start the procedure by administering a sedative, followed by a drug meant to stop her heart, the report said.

Thereafter, a euthanasia review committee will evaluate her death, to make sure that the doctor followed the ‘due care criteria’, the report noted, adding that “the Dutch government will (almost certainly) declare that the life of Zoraya ter Beek was lawfully ended”.

Ter Beek said she had asked her boyfriend to be with her till the very end. Talking about the funeral, she said there would not be one as she doesn’t have much family and her friends might not feel like going, the report stated.

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