Driven to it

In the worst way, you may be sure:

A teenager who said she was raped by two men died by legal euthanasia in the Netherlands, it’s emerged.

Noa Pothoven made a “sad last post” to social media last week in which she announced she would “die within 10 days.”

The 17-year-old detailed her struggles with sexual assault, depression, and anorexia in her award-winning biography Winning or Learning.

She wrote in her book that she was first assaulted at the age of 11 and raped by two men when she was just 14 years old, facts she hid from her parents because she was ashamed.

In her last post on Instagram, the young girl wrote that she had stopped eating and drinking and that her suffering was “unbearable.”

She wrote that her decision was “final” and that she had not been alive for a while.

“I breathe but no longer live,” she wrote.

Just once, I want to see a story end with “The rapist was led to a remote compound, where he was eaten by wolverines.”

(Via Lauren Chen.)


  1. fillyjonk »

    5 June 2019 · 7:22 am

    If the men are identifiable, could they not be charged with murder?

    I dunno, but my gut says they should.

  2. McGehee »

    5 June 2019 · 7:27 am

    I’m not in any way convinced that forcibly raping a child shouldn’t carry the same penalty as murder even if the victim lives to a ripe old age.

  3. Dan T. »

    5 June 2019 · 7:36 am

    I’ve seen some tweets to the effect that the story was slightly distorted in its initial clickbaity presentation; she wasn’t actually euthanized (she attempted to get euthanized but was refused by the authorities) but she refused to eat or drink, and after a few attempts at force-feeding everybody finally left her to her own devices where she eventually died of starvation or dehydration, but she wasn’t killed with assistance of anybody else. Still tragic, but not a case of people killing a teen at her request.

  4. fillyjonk »

    5 June 2019 · 8:14 am

    Yeah, I was coming back to say “the story’s apparently more complicated” but I still think any person who rapes another one should face pretty severe penalties.

    I wonder if her distress can be largely attributed to her having been raped, and if somehow the men could still be charged.

  5. CGHill »

    5 June 2019 · 8:52 am

    For the record, I tagged this as “assisted suicide’ rather than as “euthanasia,” since she did most of the heavy lifting.

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