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International media misrepresented death of Dutch 17-year old as ‘euthanasia’

Last days, several international newspapers paid attention to the death of a 17-year old girl in the Netherlands but labelled it incorrectly as euthanasia. When they found out they were wrong, many of them corrected their information. 


The girl, Noa Pothoven, suffered from various psychiatric disorders and had been hospitalized many times. In december 2018 she published a book about her life, her therapies and her wish to dying. Before the book was published, she asked for euthanasia to the Dutch ‘Levenseindekliniek’. Her request was not honoured, in her own words due to her age: “They consider me too young to die. They think I should complete the trauma treatment and say that my brain must first be fully grown. That lasts until you are 21. I’m devastated, because I can’t wait that long anymore.”


End May 2019, she decided to stop eating and drinking in order to cause her own death. She died the second of June. When international media picked up the news, they thought the girld died from euthanasia. The American political journalism company Politico discovered and disclosed the error. 


Read also the statements of the Dutch Royal Medical Association and the Levenseindekliniek