A 17-year-old Dutch Girl Has Been Euthanised For Depression
Noa Pothoven, 17, has been legally euthanised in the Netherlands, saying the pain she was dealing with after a childhood rape was “insufferable”.
Noa, from Arnhem, said in a social media post a day before her death last Sunday that she “breaths but no longer lives”.
Noa wrote an autobiography called Winning or Learning, after sexual assaults and rapes as a small girl led her to develop post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anorexia.
She was attacked three times as a youngster.
The first two incidents were molestations when she attended children’s parties aged 11 and 12 before she was raped by two men when she was 14 in the Elderveld neighborhood of the city.
For years she never revealed the horrific abuse because it left her feeling ashamed, the 17-year-old said.
“I deliberated for quite a while whether or not I should share this, but decided to do it anyway,” she wrote. “Maybe this comes as a surprise to some, given my posts about hospitalisation, 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.”
“Out of fear and shame, I relive the fear, that pain every day. Always scared, always on my guard. And to this day my body still feels dirty.
“My house has been broken into, my body, that can never be undone. “
Noa spent her final hours saying goodbye to her heartbroken friends and family.
She asked them to “not convince me that this is not good, this is my decision and it is final.”
“Love is letting go, in this case,” she added.
She said her mother Lisette had “always been there for me” - however according to Dutch law, her mum did have a say in her daughter’s decision.
Last year, she revealed that been admitted to hospital in a critical condition after her anorexia had left her organs on the brink of failure.
Doctors placed her into a medically-induced coma to feed her through tubes.
Dutch minister Lisa Westerveld, who first made contact with Noa in December after her newspaper interview, visited the 17-year-old before she was euthanised.
She said: “It was nice to see her again. It is also very unreal. Noa was incredibly strong and very open. I will never forget her. We will continue her struggle. “
Children as young as 12 can opt for euthanasia in the Netherlands but only after a doctor determines that the patient’s pain is unbearable.
Euthanasia is also legal in some US states, Canada and Belgium.