Medical staff holding the hand of woman laying in hospital bed
Chantel Brink
Chantel Brink
June 4, 2024 ·  3 min read

Woman Dies by Euthanasia Just Days After 29th Birthday

A 29-year-old woman in the Netherlands has died after being granted the right to seek euthanasia. Zoraya ter Beek, who had just turned 29, applied for assisted dying several years ago due to chronic depression, anxiety, trauma, and an unspecified personality disorder. She passed away on May 22 at 1:25pm local time, as confirmed by a blog post from a friend.

Extensive Treatment Efforts Before Euthanasia

She had been an advocate for a better understanding of assisted dying/Euthanasia
Image Credit: YouTube

Before her euthanasia-assisted death, ter Beek had tried various treatments, including therapy, medication, and over 30 sessions of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). She expressed that while therapy taught her coping mechanisms, it did not address her primary issues.

“In therapy, I learned a lot about myself and coping mechanisms, but it didn’t fix the main issues,” she told The Guardian. “At the beginning of treatment, you start out hopeful. I thought I’d get better. But the longer the treatment goes on, you start losing hope.”

Read More: 23-Year-Old Commits Suicide Following Complications from His Circumcision

Final ECT Session and Decision for Assisted Dying

Depressed woman
Image Credit: Pexels

Her last ECT session was in August 2020, and she applied for assisted dying in December of the same year. After a decade of treatment efforts, she felt there was nothing left for her to try and found it impossible to continue living as she was. This is when she decided on euthanasia.

Continued Struggles Despite Relationship

Euthanasia - Despite hoping her situation might improve after meeting her partner, she continued to self-harm and feel suicidal.
Image Credit: Ilvy Njiokiktjien for The Free Press

Despite hoping her situation might improve after meeting her partner, she continued to self-harm and feel suicidal. In the Netherlands, individuals can be granted the right to euthanasia if they experience unbearable suffering with no prospect of improvement and can demonstrate mental competence.

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

The Euthanasia Process

Zoraya described the Euthanasia process as long and complex.
Image Credit: Ilvy Njiokiktjien for The Free Press

Zoraya described the euthanasia process as long and complex. “It’s not like you ask for assisted dying on a Monday and you’re dead by Friday,” she explained. The process involved a waiting list for assessment, evaluations by multiple doctors, and reviews by an independent doctor. Throughout the three and a half years, she never hesitated about her decision, although she felt guilt and fear for her loved ones.

Final Moments and Reflection

Her friends confirmed her death by Euthanasia in the days following her 29th birthday.
Image Credit: YouTube

Before her euthanasia, she stated it was a relief after a long struggle and detailed how she would be administered a sedative followed by drugs to stop her heart. She also mentioned her partner would be in the room but had reassured him it was alright if he needed to leave.

Support Resources

Depressed man in long grass
Image Credit: Pexels

For individuals experiencing distressing thoughts and feelings, the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) offers support. They are available from 5pm–midnight, 365 days a year at 0800 58 58 58 and also provide a webchat service.

Similar Cases – Aurelia Brouwers & Marieke Vervoort

Similar Euthanasia Cases - Aurelia Brouwers & Marieke Vervoort
Image Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images / RTL Nieuws, Sander Paulus

Aurelia Brouwers, a 29-year-old Dutch woman, was granted euthanasia in 2018 after a long struggle with severe psychological issues, including depression and personality disorders. Despite receiving extensive psychiatric treatment, she felt that her suffering was unbearable and without prospect of improvement. Brouwers’ case garnered significant media attention and sparked discussions about the ethics of euthanasia for psychiatric patients.

Marieke Vervoort, a Belgian Paralympian, chose euthanasia in 2019 due to unbearable physical pain and a degenerative muscle disease. Vervoort had lived with severe pain for many years, competing at the highest levels of sport despite her condition. Her decision to pursue euthanasia highlighted the complexities and deeply personal nature of choosing to end one’s life in the face of chronic illness and pain.

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


  1. Dutch woman, 29, granted euthanasia approval on grounds of mental sufferingThe Guardian. Harriet Sherwood. May 16, 2024.
  2. “Woman, 29, dies by euthanasia just days after her birthday” Tyla
  3. The troubled 29-year-old helped to die by Dutch doctorsBBC. Linda Pressly. August 8, 2018.
  4. “‘I have my life in my own hands’: A filmmaker spent three years with Paralympian and triathlete Marieke Vervoort to explore her wish to die by euthanasiaCNN. Amy Woodyatt. May 22, 2023.