Reports that she was euthanized are likely wrong, it turns out, but a 17-year-old Dutch girl has died of starvation such was her despair over multiple sex assaults and rapes at an early age.
Noa Pothoven of Arnhem, Netherlands, stopped eating about two weeks ago and died over the weekend.
The young woman divulged her intentions on Instagram in a since-removed post.
She had, according to news reports, consulted a euthanasia clinic about hastening her end but it declined to do so.
Pothoven wrote a book, Winning or Learning, that detailed the awful crimes against her and psychiatric problems she suffered as a result.
Britain’s Sun newspaper reported that Pothoven was attacked three times:
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 neighbourhood of the city.
For years she never revealed the horrific abuse because it left her feeling ashamed, the 17-year-old said.
Last year, Noa said that she had reported the attacks to police saying she hoped the men will one day be arrested.
She told the Gelderlander in December that she at one point contacted the Life End Clinic in The Hague without telling her loved ones to discuss euthanasia.
Such was her struggle with anorexia that doctors put her into a coma to feed her.
She also “openly shared her long struggle dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anorexia on social media,” the Daily Beast reported, and the treatments for her psychiatric ills, included “isolation cells in psychiatric care institutions.”
Breitbart News and other news reports detailed the girl’s final despairing message before she died in a hospital bed in her parents’ home:
The day before her death, Noa posted: “I breathe but I no longer live.”
“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 hospitalization, 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,” she said.
Euthanasia in the Netherlands
Pothoven died on her own by starvation, news reports say, but the Patients Rights Council, based in Ohio, explains at its website how the country’s euthnasia law works. Frighteningly, children can request euthanasia and be put to death without a parent’s permission or the parents’ agreement.
The law, passed in 2001, turned assisted suicide and euthanasia into medical treatments, the PRC reports, and does not restrict mercy killing to the terminally ill or those in unbearable physical pain:
[The law] allows euthanasia for incompetent patients. Persons 16 years old and older can make an advance “written statement containing a request for termination of life” which the physician may carry out. The written statement need not be made in conjunction with any particular medical condition. It could be a written statement made years before, based upon views that may have changed. The physician could administer euthanasia based on the prior written statement.
Teenagers 16 to 18 years old may request and receive euthanasia or assisted suicide. A parent or guardian must “have been involved in decision process,” but need not agree or approve.
Children 12 to 16 years old may request and receive euthanasia or assisted suicide. A parent or guardian must “agree with the termination of life or the assisted suicide.”
A person may qualify for euthanasia or assisted suicide if the doctor “holds the conviction that the patient’s suffering is lasting and unbearable.”
There is no requirement that the suffering be physical or that the patient be terminally ill.
In 2017, 6,585 people were euthanized in the Netherlands, 83 of whom were mentally ill, DutchNews.nl reported. Three had advanced dementia, while 166 were in “earlier stages.”
Some 4,900 people were euthanized through the first nine months of 2018.
“They think I’m too young to die,” Pothoven told the Gelderlander. "They think I should complete the trauma treatment and that my brain must first be fully grown. That lasts until you are 21. I’m devastated, because I can’t wait that long anymore. I can’t wait that long.”
Image: digicomphoto via iStock / Getty Images Plus