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Enduring Love: Former Dutch Prime Minister and Wife Choose Euthanasia Together

Wednesday, February 14, 2024 • Tamil Comments
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The Rights Forum, a foundation set up by Mr. Agt, announced on Thursday that former Dutch Prime Minister Dries van Agt and his wife, Eugenie, had been legally euthanized at their own request. They were both 93. They died in Nijmegen, their home city, earlier this month. The couple had been battling declining health before making the decision. Mr. Agt, the Netherlands prime minister from 1977–1982, and the first from the Christian Democratic Appeal party, has died in his hometown, the city where his wife had lived for over seventy years.

Their joint passing was a reflection of the trend of so-called 'duo euthanasia' in the Netherlands, when couples choose assisted suicide simultaneously. The phenomenon was taken up by 29 couples in 2022, as compared to five two years before. Elke Swart of the Expertisecentrum Euthanasie noted, "While the interest in duo-euthanasia is growing, the individual requirements are strict, and such cases are rare.

Euthanasia has been legal in the Netherlands since 2002 under very strict conditions. These include suffering without prospect of improvement and lasting unbearable suffering with a no-standing wish to die. This is done so that every request for assistance in dying gets assessed independently.

Mr. Agt was in weak health ever since he suffered a brain hemorrhage in 2019. Their decision to undergo euthanasia illustrates a strong bond and an apparent willingness to put an end to their suffering together. Once again, this decision sparks discussions about end-of-life choices and the evolving legal landscape surrounding euthanasia in the Netherlands.

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