Sean Cate
Sean Cate
February 6, 2024 ·  3 min read

Autistic Dutch Woman, 28, Dies at Home By Assisted Suicide After Sharing Final Post

Lauren Hoeve, a 28-year-old woman from the Netherlands battling Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), recently passed away through assisted suicide. Lauren’s journey began in 2019 when she was diagnosed with ME, a debilitating condition also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. This marked the start of her physical and emotional struggle, as she faced post-exertional malaise, extreme nausea, pain, and fatigue, which she described as ‘absolute torture’ on social media platforms.1

ME robbed Lauren her of the ability to engage in activities she once loved, like running and climbing. Her journey was shared with the world as she faced post-exertional malaise, enduring extreme nausea, pain, and fatigue, making each day a challenge.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Lauren (@iamlaurenhannah)

Lauren decided to pursue euthanasia as a means to end her suffering. The process, legal in the Netherlands since 2002, involved navigating a complex system due to her psychological conditions. Lauren documented her application for euthanasia as final post on her blog, expressing gratitude for the support she received, and announced the specific date and time of her procedure. In 2002 alone, The Netherlands witnessed 8,720 reported instances of assisted suicide, with critics questioning whether society should embrace death as the only solution to such suffering.

In an emotional turn of events, Lauren’s mother, Leonie Hoeve, supported her daughter’s choice to end her ‘terrible suffering’ with ME through assisted suicide. Leonie, having previously lost her son to bone cancer, expressed sadness at facing life without Lauren. Despite the profound grief, she acknowledged being ‘happy’ with her daughter’s decision.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Lauren (@iamlaurenhannah)

Read More: 8 Signs Of Depression, Why Depression Happens, And What To Do

Global Perspectives on Assisted Suicide

While the Netherlands allows applications for euthanasia, the debate continues in other parts of the world, such as the UK, where it is currently illegal. Recent developments in the UK, including discussions led by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and presenter Dame Esther Rantzen, suggest a growing call for change in the law, as well as influential figures Dame Esther Rantzen. Meanwhile, the United States sees variations in its legality across different states, with only a few jurisdictions allowing the procedure, such as Oregon and Washington D.C.3

The Netherlands has been a pioneer in legalizing assisted suicide since 2002. Lauren’s journey through the euthanasia process shed light on the complexities involved, especially when psychological conditions are considered. The waiting period, further prolonged due to the pandemic, underlines the challenges faced by those seeking this option and truly highlights the gravity of sitting with such a decision through an extended witting process.2

Some question whether society is too quick to accept death as the only solution for those suffering, especially considering instances involving individuals under the age of 30.

Lauren’s Legacy and Advocacy for ME Research

Amidst the complexities of euthanasia, Lauren leaves behind a legacy of advocacy for ME research. She urged her followers to support organizations conducting clinical research to find a cure for the condition. Her passion for life and unique experiences, like a Taylor Swift concert organized by a local Dutch ambulance charity, showcased her determination to make the most of her limited time.

Lauren’s story serves as a poignant reminder of the complex intersections between physical and mental health, the legal landscape of assisted suicide, and the global perspectives on this controversial topic. As society grapples with these issues, Lauren’s journey sparks a conversation that extends beyond borders and challenges us to reconsider our approach to end-of-life decisions.

Read More: Perspectives: Choosing to Die Before Dementia Takes Over


  1. Mother of Dutch woman, 28, who died by assisted suicide also lost her son to bone cancer- but insists she was ‘happy’ with her daughter’s choice to end her ‘terrible suffering’ with ME.” MSN. Lydia Hawken. January 2024.
  2. ‘My last day will be on Saturday’: 28-year-old with ME shares final post before being euthanised.” Yahoo. Ikran Dahir. January 31, 2024.
  3. euthanasia.” Cornell Law School.