Physically healthy woman, 29, approved to die by euthanasia reveals how her final moments will go

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By James Kay

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A physically health woman who is set to die via euthanasia has opened up about how her final moments will play out.

Zoraya ter Beek, a 29-year-old Dutch woman has chosen to end her life legally, citing her enduring battle with depression, autism, and other mental health issues.

Speaking to The Free Press, she candidly shared her reasoning, saying: "I was always very clear that if it doesn’t get better, I can’t do this anymore."

Her case sparked a debate about euthanasia being used for mental suffering rather than the traditional view that it is used for those with terminal illnesses.


After a rigorous three-and-a-half-year process under a law enacted in the Netherlands in 2002, ter Beek received final approval last week for assisted dying, per the Guardian.

The process of obtaining approval for assisted dying proved lengthy and intricate, involving assessments, multiple medical opinions, and reviews. Despite facing guilt and fear, ter Beek remains resolute in her decision.

After experiencing backlash following media coverage of her case, ter Beek opted to deactivate her social media accounts.

It took over three years of assessments with medical professionals for her case to be approved. Credit: Javi Sanz/Getty Images

The 29-year-old has been very open about her plans and has given insight into how her final day will go.

"They’ll start by giving me a sedative, and won’t give me the drugs that stop my heart until I’m in a coma. For me, it will be like falling asleep," she said. "My partner will be there, but I’ve told him it’s OK if he needs to leave the room before the moment of death."

She added: "Now the point has come, we’re ready for it and we’re finding a certain peace. I feel guilty too. But sometimes when you love someone, you have to let them go."

Ter Beek's decision has sparked controversy, as assisted dying for individuals with psychiatric illnesses remains uncommon in the Netherlands, despite a growing number of cases.

In 2010, there were only two instances, compared to 138 in 2023, constituting 1.5% of the 9,068 euthanasia deaths.

Reflecting on the controversy, ter Beek acknowledged the contentious nature of cases like hers and the broader debate on the legality of assisted dying.


In response to her critics, the 29-year-old said: "People think that when you’re mentally ill, you can’t think straight, which is insulting. 

"I understand the fears that some disabled people have about assisted dying, and worries about people being under pressure to die. But in the Netherlands, we’ve had this law for more than 20 years. There are really strict rules, and it’s really safe."

Under Dutch law, eligibility for assisted death necessitates experiencing "unbearable suffering with no prospect of improvement," coupled with full informed consent and competency to make such a decision.

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or visit 988lifeline.org.
Featured image credit: Martin Barraud/Getty

Physically healthy woman, 29, approved to die by euthanasia reveals how her final moments will go

vt-author-image

By James Kay

Article saved!Article saved!

A physically health woman who is set to die via euthanasia has opened up about how her final moments will play out.

Zoraya ter Beek, a 29-year-old Dutch woman has chosen to end her life legally, citing her enduring battle with depression, autism, and other mental health issues.

Speaking to The Free Press, she candidly shared her reasoning, saying: "I was always very clear that if it doesn’t get better, I can’t do this anymore."

Her case sparked a debate about euthanasia being used for mental suffering rather than the traditional view that it is used for those with terminal illnesses.


After a rigorous three-and-a-half-year process under a law enacted in the Netherlands in 2002, ter Beek received final approval last week for assisted dying, per the Guardian.

The process of obtaining approval for assisted dying proved lengthy and intricate, involving assessments, multiple medical opinions, and reviews. Despite facing guilt and fear, ter Beek remains resolute in her decision.

After experiencing backlash following media coverage of her case, ter Beek opted to deactivate her social media accounts.

It took over three years of assessments with medical professionals for her case to be approved. Credit: Javi Sanz/Getty Images

The 29-year-old has been very open about her plans and has given insight into how her final day will go.

"They’ll start by giving me a sedative, and won’t give me the drugs that stop my heart until I’m in a coma. For me, it will be like falling asleep," she said. "My partner will be there, but I’ve told him it’s OK if he needs to leave the room before the moment of death."

She added: "Now the point has come, we’re ready for it and we’re finding a certain peace. I feel guilty too. But sometimes when you love someone, you have to let them go."

Ter Beek's decision has sparked controversy, as assisted dying for individuals with psychiatric illnesses remains uncommon in the Netherlands, despite a growing number of cases.

In 2010, there were only two instances, compared to 138 in 2023, constituting 1.5% of the 9,068 euthanasia deaths.

Reflecting on the controversy, ter Beek acknowledged the contentious nature of cases like hers and the broader debate on the legality of assisted dying.


In response to her critics, the 29-year-old said: "People think that when you’re mentally ill, you can’t think straight, which is insulting. 

"I understand the fears that some disabled people have about assisted dying, and worries about people being under pressure to die. But in the Netherlands, we’ve had this law for more than 20 years. There are really strict rules, and it’s really safe."

Under Dutch law, eligibility for assisted death necessitates experiencing "unbearable suffering with no prospect of improvement," coupled with full informed consent and competency to make such a decision.

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or visit 988lifeline.org.
Featured image credit: Martin Barraud/Getty