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17 Year Old Legally Euthanized for Depression / Mental Health Issues

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from the Daily News

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A 17-year-old rape victim ended her life in the Netherlands with the help of legal euthanasia after she said her suffering became "unbearable."

Noa Pothoven passed away Sunday at her home in the city of Arnhem, according to multiple reports.

Euthanasia is legal in the Netherlands under certain conditions, including approval by a doctor. Pothoven wrote extensively about her battle with depression on social media and posted recently on Instagram that “within a maximum of 10 days I will die.”

“I deliberated for quite a while whether or not I should share this, but decided to do it anyway,” she wrote, according to Inside Edition. “Maybe this comes as a surprise to some, given my posts about hospitalization, but my plan has been there for a long time and is not impulsive."

She added that “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.”

Pothoven had been raped and molested as a child and wrote a book about her battle with mental illness. She urged people not to try to change her mind about her decision.

More than 6,000 people ended their lives using euthanasia in the Netherlands in 2017, according to Inside Edition.

 

What are your thoughts on this?

This is incredibly problematic to me, especially as someone who struggles with mental health problems. I feel terrible she was abused so horribly, however I just cannot justify this in place of rehabilitation. Especially for a 17 year old... Legal euthanasia is usually granted for elderly or terminally ill patients. Suicide is already such an epidemic in teens and young adults. I think this sends a TERRIBLE message to those struggling with mental health issues.

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Venom    6,393

What the fuck nicki5 The doctor who approved of this should highkey be revoked of his license

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CHANEL #1    10,227

Personally, I'm a big supporter of euthanasia and such but I do think there's a line. The issue here for me is her age. She's just too young still to be making that serious of a decision when there are so many other avenues for treatment. 

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Urbanov    46,507

She was only 17??? Wtf how is that even possible? Don’t you have to be an adult (18+) to take the responsibility for yourself? jj3 

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Normani    7,428

So I've been thinking about how I feel about it, and while I must be honest and admit that at first I went "She's too young!!! How does she know?" I ended up reflecting on my own experiences and how I've wanted to die so many times due to my mental health but I did find the strength to continue going. So my conclusion is:

Maybe she really couldn't cope with the damage and hurt that the abuse caused her. No one can lead a good or normal life with damage, hurt and no sense of hope on their mind. Yes, she was really young but she also endured one of the worst things a human can suffer when she was even younger. Euthanasia has to be approved by 2 INDEPENDENT doctors for it to happen so I'm sure the girl truly couldn't live anymore.

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Courtney Love    4,357

I wasn’t aware legal euthanasia could be used in patients with mental health issues brit12 I definitely support assisted suicide but something like this is a grey area and should be case by case, not one steadfast set of rules. 

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Courtney Love    4,357
2 minutes ago, Manel said:

So I've been thinking about how I feel about it, and while I must be honest and admit that at first I went "She's too young!!! How does she know?" I ended up reflecting on my own experiences and how I've wanted to die so many times due to my mental health but I did find the strength to continue going. So my conclusion is:

Maybe she really couldn't cope with the damage and hurt that the abuse caused her. No one can lead a good or normal life with damage, hurt and no sense of hope on their mind. Yes, she was really young but she also endured one of the worst things a human can suffer when she was even younger. Euthanasia has to be approved by 2 INDEPENDENT doctors for it to happen so I'm sure the girl truly couldn't live anymore.

I may be a little more receptive to this if she was any older and living with a mental illness for a couple of decades. She is just way, way, way too young to rule this as the only option left. 

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Americunt    16,226

The knee-jerk reaction is obviously that this is crazy, but the more I think about, the more I consider how truly horrible her life must've become if she was unable to even eat or drink. I'm sure that she and her guardian(s) have tried every kind of treatment in the book, especially given that healthcare in the Netherlands is of pretty good quality. Without knowing more of the specific circumstances of her case, it feels weird to be passing judgment on it. Yes, she was really young, but she'd been subject to abuse since she was a small child. We just don't know all the details. So yeah, this may be a slippery slope, but doctors spend a significant amount of time considering assisted suicide cases. I think we have to trust that they know more than we do in this instance.

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Normani    7,428
29 minutes ago, Courtney Love said:

I may be a little more receptive to this if she was any older and living with a mental illness for a couple of decades. She is just way, way, way too young to rule this as the only option left. 

I understand your point of view but you can't invalidate a person's decision by saying "Hey, I see what you're trying to say but for me to believe your suffering you should be in pain for a few decades". I'm pretty sure she was aware of how young she was and how many years she would've had ahead, but we must know that this decision wasn't taken a week ago... it's a really long process.

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Hermione    26,055

No one can judge her decision unless they've been in her shoes, and even then everyone deals with trauma differently. I hope she's at peace now because this is the most depressing headline I've seen in a long time.

 

P.S. This story is being completely misrepresented by calling what happened euthanasia. She chose to starve herself and it even says that in the OP.

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Nenifir    393

I don't know how to feel about this. If that is what she really wanted, I am "happy", but also, maybe there could have been some other ways for her to deal with everything. 

As in supporting euthanasia, I am all for it, if one wants it and needs it with a good reason, sure, I support. But this is kinda grey area too, it also is not a good thing. Dunno what to think. 

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1 hour ago, Manel said:

So I've been thinking about how I feel about it, and while I must be honest and admit that at first I went "She's too young!!! How does she know?" I ended up reflecting on my own experiences and how I've wanted to die so many times due to my mental health but I did find the strength to continue going. So my conclusion is:

Maybe she really couldn't cope with the damage and hurt that the abuse caused her. No one can lead a good or normal life with damage, hurt and no sense of hope on their mind. Yes, she was really young but she also endured one of the worst things a human can suffer when she was even younger. Euthanasia has to be approved by 2 INDEPENDENT doctors for it to happen so I'm sure the girl truly couldn't live anymore.

 

1 hour ago, Americunt said:

The knee-jerk reaction is obviously that this is crazy, but the more I think about, the more I consider how truly horrible her life must've become if she was unable to even eat or drink. I'm sure that she and her guardian(s) have tried every kind of treatment in the book, especially given that healthcare in the Netherlands is of pretty good quality. Without knowing more of the specific circumstances of her case, it feels weird to be passing judgment on it. Yes, she was really young, but she'd been subject to abuse since she was a small child. We just don't know all the details. So yeah, this may be a slippery slope, but doctors spend a significant amount of time considering assisted suicide cases. I think we have to trust that they know more than we do in this instance.

I hear you both. I have thankfully never been a victim of rape, so I can't pretend to imagine the pain and suffering it caused her. I also don't know what treatment options had been tried or what medications had been tried.

 

For me personally, as someone who has struggled with depression and disabling anxiety, this sends a horrible message. It sends the message that my life isn't worth fighting for, and that my pain and suffering are all for nothing. Maybe I'm internalizing this, but what is the point of fighting if I can legally kill myself? For a person struggling with depression and suicidal ideation, this just feels morally wrong. If anything, EVERY chance should be taken to stabilize and treat the suicidal thoughts and behaviors. If she wasn't eating, she should've been hospitalized and given a feeding tube. At least where I live, that's exactly what would happen.

 

This is also troublesome because her Instagram hashtags suggest she took personal pride in being a "fighter" and representative of people struggling with mental health issues. I was always taught that death is NEVER the answer, will never solve anything, and will only bring more pain and suffering. Just seeing this story could be triggering to people... It certainly has made me very uncomfortable and low.

 

In my opinion, those doctors should testify under oath and present ALL evidence that her mental condition was terminal and that NO other treatment could have helped her. I personally just don't understand how this decision could be reached when I've been brought back from the brink many times with the proper treatment.

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trashbanjo    319

Rape and molestation are very difficult things to cope with and deal with. Some rape and molestation victims seriously never learn to move past it. If you haven't been a victim of either, you really don't have the right to judge her decision on this, nor the doctors. I highly doubt she went in there saying "I was raped. I want to die. Sign it off." It was through thorough examination of the patients MENTAL MATURITY (traumatizing experiences CAN cause the brain to develop abnormally, even to the point of "gaining" mental maturity at a much earlier age) and just how bad the damage was. She wrote a book detailing everything she battled and went through.

7000 people going to get euthanized isn't a lot FYI. There are tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of suicides each year. You just don't hear about the numbers like you do here. So instead of doing it themselves, they get it legally done... but the end result would be the same either way... Death.

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I support euthanasia. I support a painless death. Whatever the circumstances i'll never understand but please stop pretending you do.

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Winnie.    18,709

Very good message to send to those who are mentally ill. I’m still undecided on whether or not I support euthanasia. I’m sure a lot of youth battling mental illness and trauma would choose to die, because they are unable to process the complexity of the decision and the possibilities.

 

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attitude    849

She would have ended up killing herself eventually anyway so I feel that it's better she was in a safe environment when it happened. That being said, I personally think that euthanasia should be reserved for terminally ill patients. 

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Sheezus    8,600

It should be taken on a case by case basis. Past the age of 16 seems acceptable to open up the option.

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Normani    7,428

So she actually didn't die because of euthanasia.

 

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10 hours ago, Manel said:

So she actually didn't die because of euthanasia.

 

I saw this earlier, CRAZY how many media outlets got this wrong.

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