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Physically Healthy 28-Year-Old Explains Why She’s Chosen To Be Euthanised Next Month

Zoraya ter Beek, a physically healthy 28-year-old, has explained why she's choosing to be euthanised next month.
Credit: Zoraya ter Beek

A physically healthy 28-year-old has chosen to be euthanised next month.

Euthanasia is the practice of intentionally ending life to eliminate pain and suffering, with different countries having differing laws on the matter.

The topic has always been a divisive issue.

Recently, a man dubbed Dr Death went viral after revealing his ‘suicide capsules‘ that allow for a quick and painless death for those who want it.

But now, news of a physically healthy woman voluntarily being euthanised has made headlines.

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Zoraya ter Beek lives in a small village in the Netherlands, close to the German border.

She’s in perfect physical health – but is still opting to end her life in May 2024.

News of this young woman’s decision has sparked a lot of discussion online…

Zoraya ter Beek
Zoraya ter Beek, 28, has chosen to be euthanised next month. Credit: X

One person writes: “I am a supporter of the right to die and death with dignity IF the person is terminally ill and is suffering. I always thought that Sweden and the Netherlands were ahead of their time when these laws were created.”

Another adds: “This is heartbreaking, but her body, her choice, it’s as simple as that. I can understand her choice. I’m lucky that I found medication which at least takes the edge off.”

A third agrees: “I give her SO much credit. A person KNOWS when they have had enough. She is done. Pure and simple. I wish her a safe and smooth transition. This woman is a hero.”

However, a fourth opposes ter Beek’s controversial decision, penning: “You are a beautiful young woman and can do whatever you want, but suicide is not the way to go. You can find other options, don’t waste your life that others would love to have.”

Netherlands flag.
The Netherlands is one of the few countries where euthanasia is legal. Credit: Alamy

Euthanasia in the Netherlands is regulated by the Termination of Life on Request and Assisted Suicide (Review Procedures) Act, which was passed in 2001 and took effect in 2002, as per Alliance VITA.

Per Statista: “In 2022, there were 8,720 reported cases of euthanasia in the Netherlands. This is an increase of around 1,000 of such cases compared to the previous year and the highest in the recorded time period.”

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The Government of the Netherlands website adds: “Euthanasia and assisted suicide are legal only if the criteria laid down in the Dutch Termination of Life on Request and Assisted Suicide (Review Procedures) Act are fully observed. Only then is the physician concerned immune from criminal prosecution.

“Requests for euthanasia often come from patients experiencing unbearable suffering with no prospect of improvement. Their request must be made earnestly and with full conviction. They see euthanasia as the only escape from the situation.

“However, patients have no absolute right to euthanasia and doctors no absolute duty to perform it.”

Euthanasia
Euthanasia in the Netherlands was passed in 2001 and took effect in 2002. Credit: Alamy

Stef Groenewoud, a healthcare ethicist at Theological University Kampen, tells The Free Press: “I’m seeing euthanasia as some sort of acceptable option brought to the table by physicians, by psychiatrists, when previously it was the ultimate last resort.

“I see the phenomenon, especially in people with psychiatric diseases, and especially young people with psychiatric disorders, where the healthcare professional seems to give up on them more easily than before.”

Zoraya ter Beek has autism, depression, anxiety, trauma and borderline personality disorder (BPD). She claims life with these conditions has become unbearable, and she no longer wishes to live.

The 28-year-old claims to The Free Press that her psychiatrist told her: “There’s nothing more we can do for you. It’s never gonna get any better.”

“I was always very clear that if it doesn’t get better, I can’t do this anymore,” ter Beek adds.

Zoraya ter Beek
The 28-year-old is planning to be euthanised on her sofa. Credit: Zoraya ter Beek

The 28-year-old is planning to be euthanised on her sofa and cremated afterwards so her boyfriend doesn’t have to clean her grave.

“The doctor really takes her time. It is not that they walk in and say, ‘Lay down, please!’. Most of the time it is first a cup of coffee to settle the nerves and create a soft atmosphere,” ter Beek says.

“Then she asks if I am ready. I will take my place on the couch. She will once again ask if I am sure, and she will start up the procedure and wish me a good journey. Or, in my case, a nice nap, because I hate it if people say, ‘Safe journey’. I’m not going anywhere.”

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

“I don’t see it as my soul leaving, but more as myself being freed from life.”

If you or someone you know is affected by any of the issues raised in this story, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in the US at 800-273-TALK (8255) or text Crisis Text Line at 741741.

In the UK, the Samaritans is available 24/7 if you need to talk. You can contact them for free by calling 116 123, emailing [email protected] or heading to the website to find your nearest branch.

Do you have a story for us? If so, email us at [email protected]. All contact will be treated in confidence.

Written by Annie Walton Doyle

Annie Walton Doyle is a content editor at IGV who specialises in trending, lifestyle and entertainment news. She graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London, with a degree in English Literature. Annie has previously worked with organisations such as The Huffington Post, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Harvard University, the Pulitzer Prize and 22 Words.