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October 2017
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“And she died happily ever after”

One week ago a Dutch girl named Dascha Graafsma jumped, after disappearing after a night out in Hilversum, in front of the train. Was she pushed, was she forced to do it? No one knows for certain what happened but, according to previous research with special Signi dogs that recreated the route that Dascha would have let-off during that memorable and tragically night, she walked all by herself towards the train tracks. Even though she was under influence of alcohol, I believe that Dascha was still able to make the decision whether to let her life go or not. The reason for this remains a question; was she unhappy with her life or was she unhappy with herself?  One thing is for certain, the relatives are far from disclosure on her death and the way towards this disclosure will be an agonizing one.

Dascha is just one of the 100.000 people who yearly commit suicide in the Netherlands and then I am thinking, what if these people that really are done with their lives could go from this place in a more worthy way? A way where the person in question doesn’t have to suffer that much and evade their lives in the worst way possible and by that destroying the lives of the left behind loved ones. After a moment of thinking I realise, why don’t we legalize euthanasia for everyone who is done with their lives? Until today, euthanasia is only legalized when a person suffers from a terminal disease and even then, the physician that treats this particular person has to agree on the euthanasia following all sorts of ethical and lawful rules.

This would not only be a more suitable solution for the person that would otherwise have committed suicide, but also for their relatives and friends. However, it should not only be legalized for people that have a death wish due to psychological problems, but for anyone who wants to die.  Here, think about for example elders that are lonely or just ‘done’ with their lives. They feel that they have everything accomplished in their lives and they view death as some kind of ‘ final place of rest’.  When a person that is terminally ill wants euthanasia, sometimes their partner sees no point in living on without this him or her. In this case, Is it not very sad and ridiculous, to say the least, that this surviving partner could only go after their beloved one by taking an overdose or throwing him or herself in front of the train?

How can we, in a time of democratization, refuse people to let them die in a peaceful way and instead of this almost force them to take their own lives in other inhumane ways. How is it that others can decide who may or may not die by euthanasia? Does a person with a severe mental condition deserve such a treatment any less than a person with a physical condition? This last question may have something to do with the fact that mental illnesses are often not acknowledged or underestimated. When a person constantly feels depressed and doesn’t see a point in living anymore, why not end their lives by euthanasia? They are just as humane as the rest of us are and just as able to make such decisions.

Now, I can hear some critics say “people that are world-weary may make hasty decisions and just go with euthanasia instead of trying to get better”. These critics have a point here, but the thing with euthanasia is that before you get the actual euthanasia, you have several obliged conversations with family, doctor and psychologists. Even if you are acknowledged euthanasia you have to wait for a couple of weeks to let the decision sink in and overthink the consequences of the choice that is to be made. After all, it still affects your loved ones in quite an intensive way. If euthanasia were to be legalized, the doctors and psychologists have to decide on if the patient is treatable and whether they believe that there is a chance in getting better. In this case, if the person in question is in fact treatable, he or she first has to follow a psychological treatment and if there is no progress made, the person should be considered as eligible for euthanasia.

To conclude, by legalizing euthanasia for every person that wants this treatment, the suicide rate will be reduced and people will be led to a worthy end, where family members, lovers and friends can have their sweet goodbyes. This will be the perfect solution for both parties. Maybe, if Dascha and all those others have had this option, they would have left this place leaving only good memories while dying happily ever after.

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