Officials Let Woman, 29, Kill Herself With Poison

Aurelia Brouwers applied for legal euthanasia in the Netherlands
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2018 5:15 PM CDT
29-Year-Old Woman Is Allowed to Take Her Own Life
Aurelia Brouwers is seen in this screen capture from a news report.   (YouTube)

Aurelia Brouwers tried to kill herself many times, and ultimately succeeded—with the government's help. The 29-year-old Dutch woman won the right to die after squeaking through an approval process that usually denies psychiatric cases, the BBC reports. "When I was 12, I suffered from depression," she says. "And when I was first diagnosed, they told me I had Borderline Personality Disorder. Other diagnoses followed—attachment disorder, chronic depression, I'm chronically suicidal, I have anxiety, psychoses, and I hear voices." In her words, "I just want to be free." Unable to get doctors' support for euthanasia, she applied to the End of Life Clinic in The Hague and received approval among 6,585 others. Critics say that number is alarmingly high and 10% higher than the year before, the Guardian reports.

"Supply has created demand," says Theo Boer, a professor who supported a 2002 law allowing euthanasia in cases of "unbearable" pain with "no reasonable alternative"; but he quit a regulatory body two years ago as numbers climbed. "We're getting used to euthanasia, that is exactly what should not happen." Psychiatric cases are especially hard, experts say, because one never knows if a death wish is part of the illness or more treatment could help. But Brouwers was committed to the end, posting on Facebook that "I'm ready for my trip now" and assembling with loved ones and two doctors in January, less than a month after her approval. "She had a smile on her face, and then she went softly into sleep" upon drinking the poison, a friend says. "It was very serene and calm. It was beautiful." (More mental health stories.)

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