John Doe

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Mary Taylor

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A 70-year-old Dutch man chose to die together

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In the Netherlands Euthanasia and medically assisted suicide It is legal if a person requests it voluntarily, and doctors assess their suffering, physical or psychological, as “unbearable” and without prospects for improvement. Such as Jan and Elsa seventy-year-old Dutch couple married for nearly 50 years, died together at the beginning of June after two doctors gave them a lethal drug: It’s legal and rare, but every year More and more Dutch couples They chose to end their lives this way.

Jan and Els, A Life Together

The BBC reports the story, reliving the couple’s happy years – life together Having met in kindergarten, they also bonded over a love of the outdoors and sometimes unconventional life, such as choosing to live on a boat along the Dutch canals — but also the struggle that began in 2003 for her husband, Jan, with back surgery. slow and difficult recoveryIt was a heavy treatment based on painkillers which was later stopped due to its ineffectiveness in the long term, and Jan was soon forced to stop working, while his wife Else continued to practice her profession as a teacher at the time.

Choosing euthanasia for the couple

But even then Jan gathered his family and explained it to them He wasn’t planning to live long. With the physical limitations that now exist for him
Irreversible. At the same time, the couple joined the Dutch NVVE organization concerned with the “right to die.” Then came Ilse’s turn to show signs of overwhelming suffering, to the point of prompting her to retire from teaching in 2018, and in 2022 she came Diagnosis of dementiaAfter Else learned that her condition would not improve, she, her husband Jan, and their son began discussing “bilateral euthanasia». At the age of 70, Jan and 71 Els chose to die together at the beginning of June.
“When you take so many medications you live like a zombie,” Jan told the BBC reporter who met them. In recent years the chronic pain in his back had become unbearable, while his wife, Ilse, also nodded, pointing to his head: he was now struggling to form sentences.
In 2023, 9,068 people died Euthanasia in the Netherlandson 5% of total deathsOf these cases, there were 33 cases of “dual euthanasia”, i.e. 66 people.

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