WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Noa Pothoven, 17, passed away on Sunday after making the decision not to eat or drink after being denied euthanization.
- She sought euthanization in 2018 because of “unbearable” pain and suffering she was feeling after being raped and assaulted at a young age.
- Pothoven was the award-winning author of “Winning or Learning”, an autobiography describing her trauma and struggle.
Noa Pothoven, a 17-year-old from Arnhem, Netherlands decided to stop eating and drinking after she was refused euthanasia. She had turned to the End of Life Clinic in The Hague to be euthanized, however, they reportedly turned her away because of her age.
Pothoven told local newspaper De Gelderlander back in December 2018, “It tears me apart, because I can’t wait that long.”
The teen made her decision because years of fighting left her “drained” and that the pain she was feeling from being molested and raped as a child was “unbearable”.
On Saturday, she posted on Instagram that “within a maximum of 10 days, I will die.”
She wrote: “After years of fighting and fighting it is finished. I have now stopped eating and drinking for a while, and after many conversations and reviews it has been decided that I will be released because my suffering is unbearable. It’s finished.”
Her sister announced the next day that she had died. It’s not yet determined if doctors played a role, if any, in the teen’s passing.
Pothoven had written an award-winning autobiography titled “Winning or Learning” which details her assault at a school party when she was 11, her rape by two men when she was 14, as well as her efforts in trying to overcome the psychological aftereffects.
On social media, she was also very open about her struggles dealing with depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as anorexia.
Lisette, her mother, said then that Noa’s book should be made mandatory reading for social workers and those working with adolescents’ psychological care. She criticized the mental-health system in the Netherlands, describing the bureaucracy as “maddening.”
Pothoven told her followers on Instagram, over 9,000, not to try to talk her out of it and that her decision was final and “not impulsive.”
In the Netherlands, euthanization is legal even for children as young as 12 but a doctor must first determine that the patient’s pain is unbearable before they can be approved. The law allows those suffering from terminal cancer and similar excruciating physical conditions to seek euthanasia but it also allows those suffering from severe psychological pain.
The Daily Beast reports that under Dutch law, the patient must repeatedly ask to die, a second doctor must agree in writing that the death is justified, and a post-mortem panel, made up of a doctor, a jurist, and an ethics expert, have to confirm that those requirements have been met.
Source: The Daily Beast