20-something woman euthanized because PTSD considered incurable

by Staff |

(Reuters)An anti-euthanasia protestor holds up a picture of Jesus Christ as a sign of protest during a silent demonstration against euthanasia in the Netherlands.

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (Christian Examiner)—A woman suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder—after a decade of sexual abuse as a child—has been given a lethal injection under Dutch euthanasia laws. According to The Daily Mail, doctors and psychiatrists concluded the woman's PTSD and other conditions that resulted from the sexual abuse were incurable.

"It is both horrifying and worrying that mental health professionals could regard euthanasia in any form as an answer to the complex and deep wounds that result from sexual abuse."
- Nikki Kenward

The news comes as The Telegraph has written about the sharp increase in people choosing to end their lives due to mental health issues in the Netherlands. In 2010, The Telegraph reports, just two euthanasia cases in the country were attributed to mental health. Last year, 56 people were euthanized related to mental health issues. Euthanasia was legalized in the Netherlands in 2002.

The Dutch woman had been abused from the ages of 5 to 15, according to papers released by the Dutch Euthanasia Commission. Although she improved in her mental state, doctors called her "incurable" and they agreed with her desire to kill herself. In doing so doctors judged her to be "totally competent" to make such a decision, The Daily Mail says.

"It is both horrifying and worrying that mental health professionals could regard euthanasia in any form as an answer to the complex and deep wounds that result from sexual abuse," Nikki Kenward from the disability rights group Distant Voices told The Telegraph.

The case's details have been released by the Dutch authorities in order "to justify the legality of euthanasia," writes The Telegraph.

Paulan Starcke, a Dutch psychiatrist who has been a part of euthanizing patients, said this week that psychiatrists have been "too hesitant" to approve euthanasia for patients with psychiatric issues.

The Telegraph says Starcke will present her research on the topic at the Euthanasia 2016 conference in Amsterdam on Thursday. She reportedly will say that children as young as 12 should be taken seriously when expressing an interest in being euthanized.

Last year the Dutch Pediatric Association announced that it was seeking to allow terminally ill children under 12 years old to seek euthanasia.

"There's a giant misunderstanding. Euthanasia is a good death by the wish of the person who dies and no-one else," Starcke has said according to The Telegraph. "It is an execution of the wish of a patient."

Euthanasia 2016 organizers are lobbying its government to allow trials of a "suicide pill" currently used in Oregon.

Oregon, Washington, California and Vermont are the only U.S. states to pass laws allowing assisted suicide. Courts in Montana and New Mexico have ruled in favor of it as well.