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Raspberry

Dutch teenager legally euthanised after being abused as a child following long battle with mental health

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Posted (edited)

https://metro.co.uk/2019/06/04/dutch-girl-17-raped-child-euthanised-home-life-unbearable-9806828/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/06/05/an-anguished-dutch-teenager-who-was-raped-child-is-euthanized-her-request/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.81307c77eedc

I'm not sure if this belongs here but I was wondering about peoples views on this. I can't work out how I feel about it. Its so sad but in a lot of ways understandable.

EDIT: Its now looking like she refused help with her eating disorder as more reports being published have stated she died as a result of her anorexia after the state agreed not to intervene with her choice to starve. 

https://www.businessinsider.com/noa-pothoven-starved-to-death-euthanasia-denied-2019-6?r=US&IR=T

Edited by Raspberry
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I think what I’m most shocked and saddened by is that in a country where there is more progressive thinking on the right to die in terminal cases, is that there is no psych help for teens... is that true also for adults? It makes it seem - to me, anyway - that assisted suicide is more clinical and cold, based on facts, rather than what might be able to be reached for emotional and mental needs in order to survive.

She certainly seems to have been failed by the system, or lack thereof. It’s just very heartbreaking.

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Posted (edited)

First of all, I think the age limit is WAY too young.....The article says that children as young as 12 can have assisted suicide, if approved by a doctor.......That boggles my mind.

Also, article indicates that in the Netherlands, there are no psychiatric institutions or clinics where teens with MI can go for mental health services.............This makes me wonder how good their mental health services are for adults, as Rabbit mentioned.

This is so horrible!!.....Perhaps if this girl had been able to access mental health care in her country, she wouldn't  have wanted to end her own life.

Edited by CrazyRedhead
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I agree with assisted suicide in a lot of cases but I'm really not comfortable with this. The code for euthanasia 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 but she is just so young and I wonder what help if any she received before going through with this. How can they say there is no prospects of improvement when she is still so young? Whilst I wouldn't want anyone to suffer through mental health and suicidal feelings for years on end its almost feels like everyone has given up on a child and if they can allow one person of this age to do it then how many others will follow suit. If you are between the ages of 12 and 16 you do need parental consent to do this and I'm hopeful that no parent would allow it but its so scary to think that there may be case when this happens.

"After years of fighting and battling, I am drained," she wrote. It just feels like such a tragic situation that a child can't get access to help and has to suffer with these feelings. I hope her sister and any other family are receiving support. 

 

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Posted (edited)

It says in the article that this girl chose to end her life, and did not require any consent from her family.......That indicates to me that maybe her parents did not agree with her decision, but had no legal power to intervene since she was 17.....

Studies show that the teen brain is not even fully developed.....The human brain is not fully developed until around age 25........A 17 year old doesn't have the mental maturity to make a decision to die voluntarily, IMO.

I personally agree that a person has the right to die with dignity if they are suffering, and there is no hope of improvement, but they also must have the maturity and reasoning powers to make such a decision, and 17 year olds don't meet that criteria.

https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=1&ContentID=3051

This whole thing was a tragedy.....I think the Netherlands law goes too far...

Edited by CrazyRedhead
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I read about this yesterday and also had conflicted feelings about it. However, if you run a search today, the latest reports seem to be indicating that it's actually not clear whether or not her death really was due to euthanasia.  There's no question though that she suffered horribly.

https://www.dw.com/en/media-misreport-dutch-teen-noa-pothovens-death-as-euthanasia/a-49064448

https://news.sky.com/story/i-havent-really-lived-for-so-long-teen-author-17-takes-own-life-11734815

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/06/05/an-anguished-dutch-teenager-who-was-raped-child-is-euthanized-her-request/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.e6c7517fc014

 

 

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18 minutes ago, CrazyRedhead said:

Studies show that the teen brain is not even fully developed.....The human brain is not fully developed until around age 25........A 17 year old doesn't have the mental maturity to make a decision to dievoluntarily, IMO.

I personally agree that a person has the right to die with dignity if they are suffering, and there is no hope of improvement, but they also must have the maturity and reasoning powers to make such a decision, and 17 year olds don't meet that criteria.

I agree, she was turned away at 16 for this reason. “They think I’m too young to die,” said Noa, 16 at the time, explaining how she had been instructed to complete a trauma treatment and wait until her brain was more fully developed. She lamented the decision, saying, “I can’t wait that long.” She sounds so desperate. I

6 minutes ago, MiaB said:

I read about this yesterday and also had conflicted feelings about it. However, if you run a search today, the latest reports seem to be indicating that it's actually not clear whether or not her death really was due to euthanasia.  There's no question though that she suffered horribly.

I've seen this in some articles as well but in others it say's her sister has confirmed that she had now been allowed to die at home. Weather that was because of her anorexia, suicide or euthanasia its awful. I've seen reports that family and friends were with her at the time so whatever the case I really hope there is something in place to help them. 

It has making me question certain things about euthanasia though. I hadn't considered it could be used for mental health disorders, I always thought it was mainly for the terminally ill. 

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2 minutes ago, Raspberry said:

  It has making me question certain things about euthanasia though. I hadn't considered it could be used for mental health disorders, I always thought it was mainly for the terminally ill. 

This was my understanding as well, before I read about this Netherlands law...

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Posted (edited)

I feel ambivalent about euthanasia laws, particularly where minors are concerned. I do see the value in a 12-year-old with a terminal physical disease who is in constant pain being given some agency on when they leave. But allowing for people in the throws of depression, a disease with the frequent symptom of making you want to kill yourself, is a different thing entirely, and whatever other psychiatric conditions this girl had, and whatever horrific experiences she endured emotionally, depression was obviously also at play here. How do they ever parse out what is a reasonable desire to kill yourself from the fact that depression makes people suicidal, and can be treated? I agree that the mental health system there obviously failed her. Emotional anguish is obviously real, as we all know, and can feel worse than physical pain, but this girl was too young to know that she couldn't be treated and wouldn't get relief. What a tragic waste.

Edited by Unstrung Harp
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I respect her decision, and think it is sad that she had to starve herself to death.  I hope one day that I will be able to go there (or to another country) to end my life.  At least I am fortunate enough to have the money to do so.

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Posted (edited)

No way, no how, absolutely beyond a shadow of a doubt never. 

This should be reserved only for those with intractable, extreme pain with a prognosis of inevitable impending death. 

Mental illness has a symptom of suicidal ideation...that is not a sure death sentence—while waiting in the worst physical pain possible knowing you have a 90% or higher chance of death within six months or a year, is. 

Sorry...our pain cannot be measured against intractable physical pain with no hope of getting well, ever. It just cannot.

The age was just infuriating. The lack of care?! I thought for sure after the way they handled their awful mass killing spree, that excellent mental health would definitely be a given. I guess nothing is. 

I do not agree with euthanasia for any mental illness, ever...it’s what we all want, at one time or another. That doesn’t mean it should be an option. 

Hey, I’m suicidal all the time, and I cannot bear to carry it out on my own, so please help me do it cause I’m too afraid to do it to myself.

There is a reason we’re afraid to do it...part of us still is in doubt. If there were no doubt, it’s pretty easy to stock up on pain medication and benzos and drift off peacefully.

 I came very close to death in my last attempt. I’m so glad I made it out of that coma  . At the time I didn’t believe, and no one could convince me, that I had any possibility of ever feeling better. Ever.

But here I am. Finally. The right AD came along, and I’m actually functioning. Better than I have in five years.

Feeling suicidal is a serious symptom of mental illness, Hell, sometimes without being mentally ill...my brother wasn’t. He just lost his security clearance because he was found guilty of assaulting his gf. And he had no training in anything except listening in on foreign chatter—so he had no idea how he could live without the only thing he’d ever done.  🤷‍♀️ 

But you don’t just say awwww what a terrible thing to have to deal with...

and help them do it.

When there are other options, even if not yet on the market, you shouldn’t have the option to help you off yourself!

Sigh  /rant

I’m sure someone will be pissed at my opinion. Just be polite about it and not attack me.

 Thanks.

 

 

Edited by DammitJanet
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12 minutes ago, DammitJanet said:

This should be reserved only for those with intractable, extreme pain with a prognosis of inevitable impending death. 

   I do not agree with euthanasia for any mental illness, ever...it’s what we all want, at one time or another. That doesn’t mean it should be an option. 

I agree 100%.........Excellent post

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1 minute ago, CrazyRedhead said:

I agree 100%.........Excellent post

Thank you. 💗

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This reporting has not been accurate. 

She had been refusing food and water for a while.   In the past she had to be put on a feeding tube against her will.  At one point her health reached the point where she needed to be placed in a medically induced coma.  

Her parents and doctors finally decided to respect her wishes.  

I have mixed feelings about this but the reporting has been distorted and sensationalized.  It's not what most people have been saying.  

This is much closer to a living will or DNR type situation.    At some point keeping her alive against her will would have been cruel and repeated forced invasive medical procedures just adding to her trauma.  

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-48541233

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Posted (edited)

They gave up on her.

She was not mentally competent to make a well-informed decision to end her life. She was a teenager, and the brain isn’t even fully developed til age 25.

I share many similarities with this poor young woman. Including repetitive molestation, then not believed by my father due to my uncle’s sociopathy and ability to pass the polygraph. Prior to this I was his favorite child, who he took to work with him, took care of me when sick, and taught me everything while the egg donor treated me with disdain out of jealousy.

 I was also brutally raped by 3 men at age 12, and never said a word because I feared I’d not be believed again. I had bruises of thumbprints on my neck, but told the egg donor (father no longer around)  that they were hickeys. Then of course got beaten for being sexual with someone who gave me hickeys.

I then attempted suicide and nearly succeeded, was put in a state hospital for over a month.

Soon after I developed anorexia...in and out of hospitals, feeding tubes and all, for years. 

I felt suicidal for most of those years but people didn’t just give up, relent and tell me “go ahead honey, starve yourself to death. We understand...”

As @CrazyRedhead reminds me at least once a week, there’s always hope.

Most  definitely the government needs to be held accountable. 

But there are many who have endured even worse plights (not at all minimizing hers), and adults didn’t decide to just sit by and let them kill themselves slowly.

Hell, use the money she made off the book and go to another country for better care.

Anything but give up and sit by and watch your traumatized child starve to death.

 

 

 

Edited by DammitJanet
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Nobody's mental health is going to improve while restrained to a hospital bed with an IV in their arm and forced feeding tube up their nose.  I don't know at what age people can refuse life saving treatment there. In the US it's 18 and it's reasonable to think it could be 17 in western European country.          

I've been checking out death with dignity laws in the US recently after getting some unpleasant medical news myself (nobody freak, I could easily have decades).  The idea of being forced to stay alive for months or years hooked up to machines while fully conscious is something right out of a horror movie.  You can't do that to a person.   It's not the same thing as being involuntarily committed to a psych ward at all.  

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Posted (edited)

The issue I have with the debate about using euthanasia for mental illness, and in turn suicide prevention, is that most people who disapprove of euthanasia for mental illness and fully support suicide prevention are biased and view suicide in a very stereotypical lens. 

For example, people here have said they are grateful for having their life saved after a suicide attempt, people believe suicide is predominantly used as a way to end emotional pain, is impulsive and assume there is always hope that a mental illness will improve. People assume, just as is done here, that fear and doubt is what stops mentally ill people from ending their lives. 

What if none of that is true though, and it isn't just the illness talking. What happens then, after even professionals have come to the conclusion that there is no chance you will ever see clinical improvement and they themselves give up? For how long is it reasonable and ethical to force a mentally ill person's life to continue under those circumstances? How many decades, how many failed treatments, hospitalisations and relentless effort does a person have to endure before enough is enough?

And for what its worth, I don't know what about my previous post was confusing before I deleted it after seeing that dipshit emoji. No, I don't agree with this particular scenario, and my opinion stands, this was taken too far and it seemed convenient to me that her country just watch her suffer and then let her die. Sickening, after all she had endured. But I personally disagree that abuse doesn't change your life for the worst and that its impact isn't life long. It is a very hard life to be had even in recovery because any abuse ruins you to the core and it is extremely arduous and unpleasant to work through. It can never be changed and the memory will always be there. 

I believe every survivor should be told the truth about that, because we have heard too many lies already. 

Don't know what is confusing about that and it seems that dipshit emoji is used for the sole purpose of discrediting someone. 

Edited by Hopelessly Broken

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Well, ya know, I’m always afraid to share my opinion and always have been ‘cause I grew up unable to possess one. So it’s very hard for me to do, and as a result, I have no idea who I am because I gave up long ago trying figure out what I think about something having no voice for 51 years. 

So as I’ve gotten to know and cherish some people here, I’ve become a little more trusting, to experiment with voicing what’s inside my head. All the while, petrified that this would happen. 

I thought about it hard, sat there for a good long time trying to figure out how to word it, and finally hit the send button while scrunching up my face, again, terrified. 

And my worst fears came true. 

The way responses were worded, I ended up feeling like an abhorrent, evil, monster for having the opinion I stupidly put out into the public arena. 

I feel evil, disgusting, guilty, and repugnant. 

I’m sorry and I learned something about myself today...that all the fears of being as vicious and monstrous as my egg donor are true. 

 

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It is not your fault that the U.S. reporting distorted and sensationalized the what happened because it makes good clickbait. Neither euthanasia or suicide are really accurate ways of depicting the situation at all.  

I think most, if not all, of what you've been saying here would be pretty spot on if the story made up in the US media was what actually happened. I

The way this has been exploited is disgusting. 

 

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