A teenager who said she was raped by two men died by legal euthanasia in the Netherlands, it’s emerged. Noa Pothoven made a “sad last post” to social media last week in which she announced she would “die within 10 days”.
The 17-year-old detailed her struggles with sexual assault, depression, and anorexia in her award-winning biography “Winning or Learning”.
She wrote in her book that she was first assaulted at the age of 11 and raped by two men when she was just 14-years-old, facts she hid from her parents because she was ashamed.
In her last post on Instagram, the young girl wrote that she had stopped eating and drinking and that her suffering was “unbearable.”
She wrote that her decision was “final” and that she had not been alive for a while.
“I breathe but no longer live,” she wrote.
Originally the clinic said she was too young, according to Dutch news outlet de Gelderlander’s 2018 profile of the teenager. But legally minors are eligible under certain circumstances.
Pothoven wrote on Instagram last week that after many “conversations and reviews” it had been decided.
Most of those people had untreatable cancer. The Netherlands, Luxembourg and Belgium are the only countries in the European Union that allow voluntary euthanasia.
Physician-assisted suicide is allowed in Switzerland, where even foreigners are allowed to travel to receive it. In Finland, there is no penalty for physician-assisted suicide, but in most European countries the topic is hotly debated and the practise is illegal except for under very specific circumstances.
Dutch MP Lisa Westerveld visited Pothoven before her death and said she was impressed by the teenager’s strength. “I will never forget her. We will continue her struggle,” Westerveld told Dutch media de Gelderlander. The teen was a self-described “mental illness warrior”.