Physically healthy 28-year-old Dutch woman with autism and depression given approval to end her life through assisted suicide
04/21/2024 // Laura Harris // Views

A 28-year-old Dutch woman diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and depression is scheduled to die in May by assisted suicide even though she is physically healthy and is afraid of dying.

Zoraya ter Beek, who resides in a serene Dutch town near the German border with her boyfriend and two cats, once harbored dreams of becoming a psychiatrist but found herself unable to pursue her ambitions due to her mental illness. Now, after enduring relentless suffering, she has made the difficult choice to pursue euthanasia due to her ongoing battle with depression, autism and borderline personality disorder. Her decision came after her psychiatrist told her that her condition was unlikely to improve.

"There's nothing more we can do for you. It's never gonna get any better," ter Beek said, recounting the words of her psychiatrist. "I was always very clear that if it doesn't get better, I can't do this anymore." (Related: Autistic and intellectually handicapped individuals are now being EUTHANIZED in the Netherlands.)

Ter Beek has chosen a calm setting for euthanasia in her home, lying on the couch with her boyfriend by her side. Her ashes will be scattered in a wooded area, a tranquil final resting place she and her boyfriend have chosen. She opted for a simpler farewell rather than eschewing a traditional funeral to spare her partner from the burden of maintaining a grave.

However, no matter how comforting and promising the process and consequences of euthanasia may sound, ter Beek admitted that she still grapples with fear and uncertainty about what lies beyond the threshold of death.

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"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."

People with "untreatable" and "unbearable" autism and depression qualify for euthanasia in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, there has been a growing trend of labeling autism and mental illness as "untreatable" and "unbearable."

Kingston University London study published in June 2023 uncovered that the Netherlands, known for its progressive stance on euthanasia and assisted suicide, has extended these practices to include individuals with autism, intellectual disabilities and mental illnesses.

Lead researcher Irene Tuffrey-Wijne, a palliative care specialist and a member of Kingston University's Faculty of Health, Science, Social Care and Education, along with her team of researchers, analyzed documents related to 900 legal euthanasia cases released by the Dutch government's euthanasia review committees.

The study reveals that nearly 60,000 individuals received approval for euthanasia or assisted suicide at their request from 2012 to 2021. Shockingly, 42 percent of the reviewed cases reveal that intellectual disability, autism or a combination of the two were a major contributing factor, while 21 percent identify them as the sole causes of their suffering.

Moreover, the report cited social isolation and loneliness (77 percent), lack of resilience or coping strategies (56 percent), difficulty adapting to change or rigidity in thinking (44 percent) and oversensitivity to stimuli (26 percent) as the reasons for euthanasia requests. Even five individuals under 30 sought euthanasia for their unbearable pain due to childhood trauma and an inability to connect with others. Disturbingly, physicians often concluded that these conditions were untreatable, leading to a grim prognosis of "no prospect of improvement."

Simon Baron-Cohen, from the University of Cambridge's Autism Research Center, strongly criticized the results of the investigation, calling it "abhorrent" that individuals with autism were euthanized in the Netherlands without adequate support.

Tuffrey-Wijne also questioned the idea of normalizing euthanasia in society.

"There's no doubt in my mind these people were suffering," she said. "But is society really okay with sending this message, that there's no other way to help them and it's just better to be dead?"

Visit for more news related to medically assisted suicide.

Watch the video below that talks about assisted suicide and how fragile public opinion on this is.

This video is from the CHP Canada channel on

More related stories:

Netherlands is approving EUTHANASIA for people with autism, intellectual disabilities and mental illnesses.

Social media influencers pushing ASSISTED SUICIDE on children: “It’s OK to pass away today.”

Insanity: Canadian woman seeking help for suicidal thoughts receives suggestion to commit ASSISTED SUICIDE.

Canada now allows people to request medical suicide for AUTISM.

Canada attempting to expand EUTHANASIA program to allow assisted suicide of the mentally ill.

Sources include:

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