Horst D. Deckert

28-Year-Old Dutch Woman to be Killed by Assisted Suicide After Doctors Deem Her Autism ‘Untreatable’

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28-year-old Zoraya ter Beek plans to die by assisted suicide over her struggles with depression and mental illness, a trend which is increasing in the Netherlands.

AMSTERDAM (LifeSiteNews) — A 28-year-old autistic woman is scheduled to die by assisted suicide in May in the Netherlands after struggling with depression and mental illness, with her psychiatrist telling her that her condition is untreatable and will never improve. 

Zoraya ter Beek, who does not suffer from any physical illness, has decided to end her life by assisted suicide after psychiatrists said they had exhausted any means of helping her deal with her mental illnesses, which includes borderline personality disorder, according to The Free Press

Her struggles with mental illness have prevented her from being able to finish school or start a career. 

READ: Canadian judge blocks imminent euthanasia death of 27-year-old autistic woman 

In testimony to the nihilistic attitude adopted in the choice to end her own life on account of suffering, Ter Beek has decided that after she has been killed, her body will be cremated without a funeral and her ashes scattered in the woods. 

Ter Beek’s choice to take her own life comes despite her admitted fear of death arising from the uncertainty of what happens after death. 

“I’m a little afraid of dying, because it’s the ultimate unknown,” she said. “We don’t really know what’s next – or is there nothing? That’s the scary part.” 

The diagnosis of autism and mental illness as “untreatable” and “unbearable” has become an increasing trend in the Netherlands, with a study published in June 2023 revealing 40 cases during a 10-year period from 2012 to 2021. In a third of those cases, those with autism or intellectual disabilities were told there was no hope of improving their lives, and so their condition was deemed “untreatable.” 

Irene Tuffrey-Wijne, a palliative care physician at Britain’s Kingston University, who led the study that examined 900 cases, said, “There’s no doubt in my mind these people were suffering. But is society really OK with sending this message, that there’s no other way to help them and it’s just better to be dead?” 

Tim Stainton, director of the Canadian Institute for Inclusion and Citizenship at the University of British Columbia, added, “Helping people with autism and intellectual disabilities to die is essentially eugenics.” 

The scheduled killing of the 28-year-old autistic woman comes as the Netherlands continues to expand the scope of what legally qualifies for euthanasia, with a new law effective February 1 allowing the killing of terminally ill children ages 1-12 who are deemed to be “suffering hopelessly and unbearably.” 

The law allows parents to decide to kill their child even if the child is unwilling or unable to consent. 


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