Right to die: Belgian doctors rule depressed 24-year-old woman has right to end her life

'Laura' entered a psychiatric facility when she was 21

Rose Troup Buchanan
Friday 03 July 2015 12:31 BST
(Angelika Schwarz/Getty Creative)

Doctors in Belgium have granted a medically depressed woman the right to end her own life.

The 24-year-old woman, named only as ‘Laura’, told doctors she had suffered from depression since she was a child and wished to end her life, local newspaper De Morgen reported.

Laura, who entered a psychiatric facility when she was 21, told the publication: “life, that’s not for me.”

"Death feels to me not as a choice. If I had a choice, I would choose a bearable life, but I have done everything and that was unsuccessful," she told the newspaper.

Laura, currently planning her funeral as well as her final words to her mother and grandmother, claims her parents had her too young and although her upbringing with her grandparents granted her “security, peace and structure” it was not enough.

“Even though my childhood certainly contributed to my suffering, I am convinced that I had had this death wish even though I grew up with a quiet, stable family.”

In the extensive interview, Laura recounts how as a six-year-old child she unknowingly picked up a loaded gun and thought about ending her life. “If I had known this at that time, I might have pulled the trigger. I can easily imagine.”

The date of Laura’s death is yet to be decided, but she may become part of a small increase in younger individuals seeking to end their lives.

Belgium legalised euthanasia in 2002, with approximately 1,400 cases every year since then. In 2013, the same year that the number of requests to die spiked at over 1,800, the Belgian parliament passed an amendment extending the law to terminally ill children.

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