Couples who decide to end their lives with euthanasia scheduled for the same day and time represent a small percentage of the total deaths Aided in the NetherlandsBut their number is increasing and dozens of such cases are reported every year, including the case of the former Dutch Prime Minister Dries Van Agt and his wife, both 93 years old.
van egt He was with his wife for 70 years eugeniewhom he had previously met during his student days in Nijmegen NetherlandsAnd from then on they were inseparable: she accompanied and advised him as Minister of Justice (1971–1977), Minister of Foreign Affairs (1982) and Prime Minister of three cabinets between 1977 and 1982.
He was also with him when he founded it in 2009 Rights ForumA center of knowledge on Israel and Palestine, where he tried to realize his quest for a peaceful solution to the conflict, to which he had devoted his energies since his visit to the West Bank in 1999. Together they traveled the world for work, and were inseparable for decades, so it was clear that they did not want to live without each other.
On 5 February, at the age of 93, both in deteriorating health, and surrounded by their loved ones, died “hand in hand” after undergoing euthanasia together, which is common practice. NetherlandsAccording to Francien van ter Beek, president of the Dutch Association for a Voluntary End of Life (NVVE).
In 2022, the last year for which official figures are available, there were about 9,000 euthanasia Netherlands, among them there were 29 couples who went through the assisted death procedure, that is, 58 people in total. There were 16 pairs in 2021, and another 13 in 2020. According to statistics, the percentage is small, but increasing. Regional Euthanasia Review Committees (RTE).
“It doesn’t happen often, because it’s not an easy path,” Van ter Beek told NOS.
Doctor studies one couple’s request as two individual processes and subject to the terms of any other case.
euthanasia is legal Netherlands Since 2002, but it is authorized under very strict conditions and can only be performed under medical supervision, so any other form of assisted suicide is considered illegal.
The requirements require that the decision be “voluntary and well-intentioned”, in the face of “unbearable and desperate suffering”, and that “there is no reasonable alternative.” Furthermore, the doctor must “report on the situation and prospects” and seek a second opinion from “an independent doctor”, so that the procedure is “medically careful” with the right medications and the right steps.
Two different doctors do a separate assessment, after which another independent doctor double-checks it, and all doctors must first make sure that all points have been met. authorize euthanasia, In case of couples, it should also be verified that there is no “undue pressure” from one of the parties.
van egt faced one brain hemorrhage in 2019 and his health has deteriorated since then. “That’s when he said euthanasia was an option if life and suffering became unbearable (…) His health was becoming increasingly fragile and he wanted to focus his attention on his wife, his children and his grandchildren ,” said Gerard. Jonkman, director of The Rights Forum, who confirmed that Eugenie’s health had also deteriorated rapidly in recent years.
The former Prime Minister entered politics in the late sixties and until 2021 was a member of the Christian Democratic party CDA. He was a conservative with Catholic beliefs, but over the years his views became more progressive, enough to surprise him by dying by euthanasia. With the love of his life. “They couldn’t live without each other,” Jonkman said.
“We know from experience that people think it’s a good idea. Especially after an afterlife in which people have merged with each other. That way you no longer have to live through the death of another person , and you save yourself pain.”, concluded. Van ter Beek. However, children and grandchildren suffer a double loss when their parents or grandparents die simultaneously.
At the moment, “duo-euthanasia” remains an exception and represents less than 1% of total cases in the Netherlands.