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Dutch psychiatric patient “couldn’t believe” doctor proposed euthanasia to her

A Dutch woman suffering with mental health problems has shared her story of how a psychiatrist suggested she ask for euthanasia because he could see she was “tired out” and had “gone through too much”.

Going by the name Manon, the woman explained to Zwolle News that she was suicidal six years ago and hoping to be helped through a complex post-traumatic stress disorder.

In her first consultation with the new psychiatrist however, he reportedly said, “What about asking for euthanasia?”, which Manon claims made her wonder “if she didn’t deserve to go on living.”

“The arguments were that he could see I was tired out, that I had gone through too much to go on like I was, that I had done everything humanly possible to treat my condition. ‘I can write out a referral (for euthanasia) just like that. You meet the criteria,’” Manon said he told her,

“I was overwhelmed and angry. I couldn’t believe it. I had come to see this man to get help,” Manon explained. “I was suicidal, but I was looking for the help that I had actually never obtained – help for the core of my deepest pain and sorrow, my trauma, my post-traumatic stress disorder. I had lost all belief in myself, that I wanted that back.”

“Is he giving up on me, just like that?” she thought after hearing his advice. “Yes, I’m broken, but I want to become whole again. I’m asking for help to get better, not for death!”

Manon was later persuaded by a different psychiatrist to undergo 80 rounds of ECT (electroconvulsive therapy), a treatment she says “does no more than combat symptoms.”

“It certainly won’t help you tackle the core problem,” she said.

She has found no healing since, saying euthanasia has become something she might consider, but only after trying a different trauma centre.

“My last hope is pinned on a trauma center with a slightly different approach,” she said. “If that doesn’t work, (euthanasia) will be my choice.

“Especially as in the last 15 years I’ve lost about 40 people through suicide, eating disorders and a few to euthanasia. Insanely many. For a few, that last option was luckily available. But it’s a long trajectory. Mental suffering is extremely heavy to bear and lonely, and I hope that these waiting lists will also get shorter.”

“But I really want to live,” she repeated. “How crooked the world seems to be.”

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