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Report: Depressed, but otherwise healthy, 24-year-old granted right to die

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A man stands atop the Golden Gate Bridge, one of the nation's most notorious suicide locations.

BRUSSELS — A severely depressed but otherwise healthy woman has qualified for euthanasia under Belgian law, even though she is not terminally ill, reports. 

Newsweek reports that the woman, simply known as Laura, qualifies to receive a lethal injection. She has been the patient of a psychiatric institution since the age of 21, and has already tried to take her life on several occasions.

“Death feels to me not as a choice,” the woman told Belgian journalists. “If I had a choice, I would choose a bearable life, but I have done everything and that was unsuccessful.”

The date of her death has not yet been decided.

Belgium’s euthanasia laws were passed in 2002, and allow people to take their life with the help of a physician if they suffer from intractable and unbearable pain.  There were 1,807 recorded deaths by euthanasia in the country in 2013, with over half of the patients aged 70 or higher. However, as younger individuals with depression have increasingly decided for euthanasia, many disagree with the ways Belgium’s laws are written.

“There is absolutely no way for healthcare professionals to measure another person’s mental suffering to decide if they should receive euthanasia,” Brussels-based Carine Brochier, a representative with the European Institute of Bioethics, told Newsweek. “Euthanasia is not the answer to all human suffering.”

Belgium allows individuals as young as 12 to opt for euthanasia.

Physician-assisted suicide is legal in Washington state, one of only three states to legalize the procedure via legislation. However, only those with a six-month predicted survival rate are allowed physician assisted suicide.


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  • tootietuttle

    liberals who didn’t see this coming are why we shoudn’t have liberals making laws. Next up, allowing teenagers to commit suicide.

  • Dan Rafael

    So a person who repeatedly commits suicide could argue that without 24-hour care would likely die within six months, giving them legal right to suicide?

  • The Decider

    Who is anyone to tell a person they cannot die peacefully? The options come down to going in a peaceful manner, or perhaps going in such a way that affects others, someone has to find the body. Self inflicted gunshot wounds, jumping off bridges, overdosing, cutting. Why force someone to suffer? If they don’t want to live, let them die. At least death with dignity is clean.

    • User

      She would’ve died regardless by eventually taking her own life. What’s so wrong about doing it with an injection instead of bleeding to death or suffering from pain? Unless you’re into that sort of thing. Plus, maybe it’s just my thought, but suffering emotional/mental pain hurts as much as physical pain for some people.

    • VoiceOfReason

      Good point. While something about terminating a 24 year olds life seems wrong I can’t imagine living this way. Assuming they’ve tried everything possible to work through the issues its not fair to force them to remain alive for our benefit.

    • jim_luvs_Jesus

      Nobody can be assured of a peaceful death. Sometimes it’s the realization that suicide can be very painful is reason enough to live. I think people with such radical problems of depression need a radical exposure to other therapy, including brain surgery. There is always hope. It is wrong to simply kill another person for convenience.