'I am drained': Teenage girl raped as a child dies after seeking euthanasia

A 17-year-old girl has died following a years-long battle with depression and anorexia after she was raped as a young child.

Noa Pothoven, of Arnhem in the Netherlands, explained the choice to end her own life in a now-private Instagram post last week, saying the trauma she struggled to live with following a childhood rape had become insufferable.

"After years of fighting and battling, I am drained," she wrote.

"After many discussions and evaluations, it was decided to let me go because my suffering is unbearable."

The teen’s death comes after a euthanasia clinic in The Hague refused to help her die, according to Deutsche Welle.

Noa Pothoven, 17, from the Netherlands, has died after she sought to end her life by euthanasia.
Noa Pothoven, 17, has died after seeking to end her life at a euthanasia clinic. Source: Noa Pothoven/ Facebook

The teen – who published an autobiography in 2018 called Winning or Learning detailing her struggles with PTSD, depression, anorexia and self-harm – also asked her followers to not try to talk her out of her decision, adding it was "final" and "not impulsive".

"Love is letting go, in this case," she ended her post.

Noa's sister Isa Pothoven took to Instagram following the teen's death on Sunday to share a moving tribute, remembering her loved one as a "sweet, beautiful and caring person."

"Sleep well sweetheart, we will miss you," she wrote in a now-deleted post.

"Close your eyes and think of the beautiful place where you will go. We will have to let you go."

Doctors must deem life is ‘unbearable’

Dutch law allows euthanasia as long as it is performed in accordance with the stringent terms of the controversial "Termination of Life on Request and Assisted Suicide (Review Procedures) Act," which became law in 2002.

The code states doctors may honour a patient's appeal for euthanasia provided the request is voluntary and well-considered, and the person's suffering has been deemed unbearable with no prospect of improvement.

Doctors must also inform the patient of his or her situation and further prognosis, and the two must come to the joint conclusion there is no other reasonable solution.

Noa Pothoven had been raped as a child and she said the trauma from this was insufferable.
She said the trauma she had suffered after being raped as a child had become insufferable. Source: MIND

At least one other physician with no connection to the case must then see the patient and state, in writing, that the attending physician satisfied the due care criteria outlined by the code.

Children as young as 12 can seek euthanasia in the Netherlands, although patients younger than 16 years old need parental consent to do so.

In 2017, the country saw a reported 6585 deaths by legal euthanasia.

Human euthanasia is illegal in Australia, however assisted suicide will become legal in the state of Victoria this year.

In May last year, 104-year-old Australian David Goodall travelled to Switzerland to end his life by voluntary euthanasia.

In February, Victorian firefighter Troy Thornton, who suffered from multiple system atrophy, also died in a Swiss euthanasia clinic.

– Yahoo! Now

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636, Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.

Clarification: An earlier version of this story stated Noa Pothoven died by euthanasia, but it is unclear if doctors assisted in her death.

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