A shocking new report has claimed that a Dutch teenager, who was reportedly legally euthanised following a horrific childhood rape ordeal, did not actually undergo the assisted dying procedure, with the 17-year-old said to have actually died as a result of stopping eating and drinking.
News outlets around the world reported the sad news on Wednesday that Noa Pothoven, 17, had passed away in her own living room, with some claiming she had help from an end-of-life clinic after being granted the right to die in the Netherlands where euthanasia – under certain circumstances – is legal.
However, it has now been reported by news outlet Politico that Pothoven had in fact died after refusing to consume fluids or foods for a number days.
According to the American publication, the teenager had previously sought help from a euthanasia clinic without telling her parents but was refused the procedure. After years of suffering anorexia and other mental illnesses, the teenager is said to have then decided to stop eating and drinking, with her parents and doctors allegedly agreeing to stop forcing her.
Speaking of the tragic event Paul Bolwerk, a journalist at local newspaper De Gelderlander, explained Noa had attempted multiple times to take her own life before choosing to stop consuming anything.
“She got depressed more and more, and said, ‘well, okay, now I press on the button. Now I say I will stop with all treatments’,” he told Politico. “And that was very stressful for everyone, including the parents, the doctors, the psychiatrists.
“So she stayed at home and decided not to eat and drink, and it was very hard to accept that for everyone.”
Noa previously revealed in her own book how she was sexually assaulted on three seperate occasions from the age of 11, leading to her suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anorexia in the years that followed.
While she’s used her social media profiles since to help raise awareness of mental illness, she shocked her followers recently as she shared a final, lengthy message alongside a photo of herself.
“I deliberated for quite a while whether or not I should share this, but decided to do it anyway,” she wrote, according to screenshots of the message widely shared online.
“Maybe this comes as a surprise to some, given my posts about hospitalisation, but my plan has been there for a long time and is not impulsive.
“I will get straight to the point: within a maximum of 10 days I will die. After years of battling and fighting, I am drained. I have quit eating and drinking for a while now, and after many discussions and evaluations, it was decided to let me go because my suffering is unbearable.”
According to Dutch newspaper De Gelderlander, Noa previously revealed in her autobiography, ‘Winning or Learning’, that she was assaulted on two separate occasions when she attended parties aged 11 and 12. She then claimed she was raped by two men when she was 14 in the Elderveld neighbourhood of Arnhem – her home city.
She added in her message online that while she was alive, she felt like she was simply breathing – adding: “I breathe, but I no longer live.”
Noa went on to plead with her friends not to try and talk her out of her decision, saying: “This is my decision and it is final… Love is letting go, in this case.”