28-year-old Dutch woman granted state-sponsored suicide for ‘chronic fatigue syndrome’

A 28-year-old autistic woman and blogger from the Netherlands made one last post online before being euthanized by a doctor on Jan. 27, under the country’s legalized assisted suicide program.

In a last post on X, Lauren Hoeve wrote, “This will be my last tweet. Thanks for the love, everyone. I’m going to rest a bit more and be with my loved ones. Enjoy a last morbid meme from me,” along with a picture of a kid in sunglasses giving thumbs up with the caption: “Me getting euthanized.”

According to the Daily Mail, Hoeve was diagnosed with Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), also known as chronic fatigue syndrome in 2019, along with post-exertional malaise (PEM) which caused extreme nausea, pain, and fatigue.

In 2022, Hoeve was diagnosed with ADHD and began to document her path to assisted suicide in her blog titled “Brain Fog.” In April, she met with a specialist who determined that the young woman was “mentally competent” to consent to death.

A post to the blog from January 27 announcing her death read: “Lauren passed away peacefully at 1.55 pm in the presence of her parents Leonie and Peter and her best friend Lau. We would like to thank you for your compassion and support.”

In a follow-up statement on her account, Hoeve’s parents wrote a message encouraging the audience to support initiatives that help patients with ME. It read, “Lauren believed that our attention should be on the living.”

“Millions of people are affected by ME/CFS, with no established treatment pathways and no cure. Why is their suffering acknowledged enough for euthanasia but not enough to fund clinical research?” they said. “We are therefore encouraging you to support initiatives which advocate for ME patients. Some of these include the Open Medicine Foundation and ME Action Network.”

Assisted suicide has been legal in the Netherlands since 2001 when the Termination of Life on Request and Assisted Suicide Act was passed. In 2023, The country began allowing parents to euthanize terminally ill children who are 12 and over. According to Statista, more than 8,000 people were euthanized in the Netherlands in 2022.

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