Woman, 29, explains why she wants to end her life as she is granted euthanasia approval (2024)

Warning: This article contains discussion of depression, self-harm and suicide which some readers may find distressing

A 29-year-old woman has explained exactly why she wants to end her life now that she has been granted euthanasia approval.

Zoraya ter Beek, who hails from the Netherlands, has opened up about why she has decided to intentionally end her life due to psychiatric problems in the next coming weeks.

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Ter Beek received the final approval for assisted dying last week after a three and a half year process under a law passed in the the Netherlands back in 2002

Woman, 29, explains why she wants to end her life as she is granted euthanasia approval (1)

Zoraya ter Beek, 29, has decided to intentionally end her life due to psychiatric problems. (DIGICOMPHOTO/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY / Getty Images)

In the Netherlands, doctor-assisted death is allowed if a doctor is satisfied a patient's suffering is 'unbearable with no prospect of improvement' and if there is 'no reasonable alternative in the patient's situation'.

Speaking about her decision, Ter Beek told the Guardian: "People think that when you’re mentally ill, you can’t think straight, which is insulting.

"I understand the fears that some disabled people have about assisted dying, and worries about people being under pressure to die.

"But in the Netherlands, we’ve had this law for more than 20 years. There are really strict rules, and it’s really safe."

Ter Beek, who has has chronic depression, anxiety, trauma and unspecified personality disorder, thought that after meeting her partner, her mental health situation would improve.

"But I continued to self-harm and feel suicidal," she revealed.

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She's tried out talking therapies, medication and over 30 sessions of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).

"In therapy, I learned a lot about myself and coping mechanisms, but it didn’t fix the main issues," Ter Beek continued. "At the beginning of treatment, you start out hopeful. I thought I’d get better.

"But the longer the treatment goes on, you start losing hope."

Woman, 29, explains why she wants to end her life as she is granted euthanasia approval (2)

Ter Beek opened up about her mental health issues. (YouTube/TheFreePress)

After a decade of treatment, there was 'nothing left' for Ter Beek to try.

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"I knew I couldn’t cope with the way I live now," she added.

She admitted to thinking about taking her own life but was concerned about the impact it would have on her family and loved ones.

Ter Beek recalled: "I finished ECT in August 2020, and after a period of accepting there was no more treatment, I applied for assisted dying in December that year. It’s a long and complicated process.

"It’s not like you ask for assisted dying on a Monday and you’re dead by Friday."

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Opening up about the process, she explained: "I was on a waiting list for assessment for a long time, because there are so few doctors willing to be involved in assisted dying for people with mental suffering.

"Then you have to be assessed by a team, have a second opinion about your eligibility, and their decision has to be reviewed by another independent doctor.

"In the three and a half years this has taken, I’ve never hesitated about my decision.

"I have felt guilt – I have a partner, family, friends and I’m not blind to their pain. And I’ve felt scared. But I’m absolutely determined to go through with it."

She revealed that 'every doctor at every stage' has asked her if she's 'sure' and have left her know she can 'stop at any point'.

Woman, 29, explains why she wants to end her life as she is granted euthanasia approval (3)

Ter Beek now expects her doctor-assisted death will be in the next few weeks. (YouTube/TheFreePress)

"My partner has been in the room for most conversations in order to support me, but several times he has been asked to leave so the doctors can be sure I’m speaking freely," Ter Beek added.

Ter Beek now expects her doctor-assisted death will be in the next few weeks following a meeting with her medial team.

Talking about the decision which has now been approved, she told the outlet: "I feel relief. It’s been such a long fight."

On the day which has been decided by Ter Beek, the medical team will come to her house and commence the process by giving her a sedative.

"They’ll start by giving me a sedative, and won’t give me the drugs that stop my heart until I’m in a coma. For me, it will be like falling asleep.

"My partner will be there, but I’ve told him it’s OK if he needs to leave the room before the moment of death."

Ter Beek added: "Now the point has come, we’re ready for it and we’re finding a certain peace.

"I feel guilty too. But sometimes when you love someone, you have to let them go."

If you're experiencing distressing thoughts and feelings, the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is there to support you. They're open from 5pm–midnight, 365 days a year. Their national number is 0800 58 58 58 and they also have a webchat service if you're not comfortable talking on the phone.

Woman, 29, explains why she wants to end her life as she is granted euthanasia approval (2024)
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