Netherlands: this former prime minister who resorted to euthanasia to die “hand in hand” with his wife: Femme Actuelle Le MAG

While France is in the middle of a debate around the end of life and a reform should be presented to Parliament at the end of February 2024, in the Netherlands, a former prime minister resorted to euthanasia. Monday February 5, Dries Van Agt and his wife Eugénie Van Agt-Krekelberg, both aged 93, died as part of a duo euthanasia, legal in the country. “On Monday February 5, Dries van Agt passed away in his hometown of Nijmegen, alongside his beloved wife Eugénie van Agt-Krekelberg”announced the Rights Forum, a pro-Palestinian research center founded by the former Prime Minister. “They die at the same time, hand in hand”, it was clarified. Although the use of dual euthanasia is still rare in the country, more and more Dutch people are choosing this option to “die with dignity” and as a couple.

The Netherlands was the first country in the world to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide

It was in 2020 that the first cases were recorded. In 2023, 58 will have chosen to die as a couple, which corresponds to 5.1% of all deaths by euthanasia in the country. As a reminder, Dries Van Agt was Prime Minister of the Netherlands between 1977 and 1982. Married to his wife for more than 70 years, he suffered a brain hemorrhage in 2019. Since then, the former politician was no longer in full possession of his means. According to Rights Forum, his brain had been “definitely altered”. With his wife, he had never hidden the desire to die with her as soon as he was no longer able to live in optimal conditions. It was in 2002, the first country in the world, that the Netherlands legalized euthanasia and assisted suicide.. On the other hand, the practice is very regulated: it can only be done at the request of the patient himself and when he is suffering from “unbearable suffering with no prospect of improvement”. The former Dutch Prime Minister had to fulfill one of these conditions.

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