Doctors Euthanized Healthy 29-Year-Old Woman Because She Had Mental Health Problems

International   Alex Schadenberg   Jan 30, 2018   |   10:44AM    Amsterdam, Netherlands

It is very upsetting to writing about the assisted death for psychiatric reasons of Aurelia Brouwers, the 29-year-old physically healthy Dutch woman. Aurelia died, as scheduled, on January 26.

I did not know Aurelia, personally, but I communicated with her and I urged her to live. I told her that I cared about her.

Aurelia made her assisted death a campaign to promote euthanasia for psychiatric reasons.

Arjen ten Cate and Ingrid Willems published an interesting article in examining the attitudes of psychiatrists towards psychiatric euthanasia. ten Cate and Willems interviewed four psychiatrists.

rank Koerselman, an emeritas professor of psychiatry, opposes euthanasia for psychiatric reasons. Koerselman states: (google translated)

The… Netherlands is completely wrong when it comes to euthanasia. He calls it a slippery slope. “Only when euthanasia became possible in physical medicine did we start developing good palliative care. That is the reverse order? Now the same thing happens in psychiatry. There is no policy for chronic patients, but we do allow euthanasia. ”

Koerselman is convinced that psychiatric patients can not make a sober, intellectual decision whether or not to live. “There are always emotions like fear, shame or anger. It is an illusion with the syndrome to think that such a decision is well-considered.”

Koerselman, who stated that he is definitely not religious, stated:

psychiatrists can not judge this. For even psychiatrists are not able to look into the patient’s head in┬ásuch a way that he or she can judge whether a death wish is justified. “We overestimate ourselves as a professional group.”

Menno Oosterhoff, who knew Aurelia personally and who lives with compulsive disorder, is a psychiatrist who supports euthanasia for psychiatric reasons. The article states (google translated):

it is not up to the masses, or a professional group to give an opinion on one specific patient. ,, Only the patient himself, his doctor and psychiatrist can make a good estimate.

According to Oosterhoff there are too many prejudices about people with psychological problems who have a death wish. “That they have a lack of willpower is such a preconception. People’s prejudices tend to be more difficult when it comes to an individual person. If you know Aurelia’s story yourself. She is terminal because her soul is failing. There are too many theoretical objections to euthanasia.”

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Jim van Os is a professor of psychiatry who does not oppose euthanasia but is concerned that it may become too common:

There are examples of patients with a very strong death wish, who asked for euthanasia and did not get it and now a happy one life, because they have found the love of their lives, for example.

Van Os is worried about the growing demand for euthanasia in psychiatry. He does not want to go into the specific case ‘Aurelia’. “But in a general sense you may wonder if we have done enough to help these people.” … How is it that someone wants to die? Should we have been unable to do something at an earlier stage? “This professor also notes that the GGZ in the Netherlands is under pressure due to cutbacks. Dangerous, he says. GGZ Nederland does not want to accept this criticism.

Psychiatrist Bram Baker, who had a friend who died by euthanasia for psychiatric reasons, set up a signature campaign opposing euthanasia for psychiatric suffering. According to the article:

He is critical: “Legally, it is allowed. But a judgment about psychic, unbearable suffering is always subjective. You can not take a position as a psychiatrist, that is very scary. And I think euthanasia is going too far. Is there no other option?

Several excellent articles have been published opposing euthanasia for psychiatric reasons. Note: Alex Schadenberg is the executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and you can read his blog here.