Physically healthy woman, 28, decides to be euthanized despite admitting she’s scared of dying


A 28-year-old physically healthy woman has decided to end her life via euthanasia after battling depression, autism, and borderline personality disorder.

Zoraya ter Beek, a 28-year-old Dutch woman residing in a small village near the German border, has made the difficult decision to end her life legally.

Despite her affection for her 40-year-old boyfriend and the companionship of her two cats, ter Beek has opted for euthanasia, scheduled for May, as her mental health struggles have persisted, per the Free Press.

Once aspiring to become a psychiatrist, she has grappled with these challenges throughout her life.

In an interview with The Free Press, ter Beek revealed her decision, stating: “I was always very clear that if it doesn’t get better, I can’t do this anymore.”

Her case shows a growing trend in the West, where individuals are opting to end their lives due to severe mental health issues, a departure from traditional views where euthanasia was predominantly associated with terminal illnesses.

Stef Groenewoud, a healthcare ethicist at Theological University Kampen in the Netherlands, expressed concern over this trend.

She noted: “I see the phenomenon especially in people with psychiatric diseases, and especially young people with psychiatric disorders, where the healthcare professional seems to give up on them more easily than before.”


Ter Beek’s death is scheduled for May Credit: DIGICOMPHOTO/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty

Ter Beek’s euthanasia process is meticulously planned. She will be sedated by a doctor before a drug is administered to stop her heart. Her boyfriend will be by her side throughout the procedure, which will take place on her living room couch.

Reflecting on her impending passing, ter Beek expressed that despite this being her choice, she was still apprehensive. “I’m a little afraid of dying because it’s the ultimate unknown. We don’t really know what’s next – or is there nothing? That’s the scary part.”


Euthanasia has been legal in the Netherlands since 2001. Alexander Spatari/Getty

The Netherlands, pioneering assisted dying legalization since 2001, has seen a significant rise in euthanasia cases. In 2022 alone, there were 8,720 euthanasia deaths, accounting for approximately 5% of all deaths in the country, as reported by the New York Post.

In February, the 93-year-old former Dutch Prime Minister Dries van Agt and his wife died hand in hand by euthanasia.

In response to the coverage by The Free Press, ter Beek took to Twitter, expressing her gratitude to those willing to learn from her experiences and announcing her departure from social media ahead of her scheduled euthanasia.

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