Pope Speaks Out on Suicide of Dutch Girl


This is very sad.

"Noa Pothoven was sexually molested at the age of 11 and 12, and was raped by two Muslims at the age of 14. The rape caused post-traumatic stress, anorexia and depression. Last Sunday, on the basis of the Dutch euthanasia law and with the permission of the parents, the killing of the girl took place.

However, the news of Noa’s euthanasia turned out to be a hoax. It is not wrong, however, that the girl is actually dead, in no less dire circumstances."

Because she was denied euthanasia, Noa Pothoven, according to the current reconstruction of events, starved and died of thirst by refusing food and fluid intake. And at home and with the consent of her parents.

Today, Pope Francis responded with a tweet to the dire news of Pothov’s death:
"Euthanasia and assisted suicide are a defeat for all. The answer to which we are called is never to let the sufferer down, never to resign, but to accept with care and love, to give hope. "

I can see someone going on a hunger strike or a mentally ill person having anorexia, but how does one go without drinking any fluids voluntarily for long enough to die? It seems like it would be horribly painful and unless you were either severely mentally ill or restrained, not very possible. She no doubt died of dehydration, since that will kill you in 3 days to a week, while going without food would normally take weeks to kill a healthy young person.

I’m also baffled as to how so many major newspapers around the world ran this story without fact checking it (which apparently would have been really easy to check) and said she had had legal euthanasia when in fact it was refused. Just more Fake News.


The church in Holland has been in virtual collapse for decades. It was a casualty of the “new springtime.”

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Nowhere in that article is the Pope quoted as saying two Muslims raped the young woman.Where is that information from?

She wrote a book about her life that said she was raped by two men from Elderveld neighborhood in Arnhem. It’s a neighborhood that has a lot of Muslim immigrants and reportedly a higher incidence of rape than the Dutch average. I don’t think she specifically identified the men as Muslim but some sources circulating the story have added “Muslim” to it and I’m guessing the AsiaNews source did that.

It’s not in the article attached to the OP. Possibly lifted from another article.

How is the religion of the rapists pertinent? Plus, it seems their religion is not even clear, but assumed.

I wonder how folks would feel about the religion - and clerical status - of rapists being always disclosed? Especially the rape of underage boys by clergy?

My point is that claim is deliberately inflammatory - and not even verified.

Why reply to me? I’m simply answering another person’s factual question. I did not write the news articles, nor have I read Noa Pothoven’s book to see if she addresses this in more detail, nor do I particularly care.

If you meant to make a general comment to the thread, please make it using the reply button at the bottom and not as a reply to someone’s post.

Someone edited my post and added the link above. I posted that the Pope spoke about this.

Do not change the topic to Muslims. The topic is suicide and Euthanasia

Edit: I know it says muslims, but you also have to take all news with a grain of salt.

I was thinking of this for a while, and realized…

A teenage girl was so mentally disturbed, that she KILLED HERSELF with the help of HER PARENTS, and you guys are arguing that it mentions Muslims as the possible perpetrators. WHAT?

Something so barbaric that the Pope had to speak.

Do you guys even care about the girl?

For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
Eternal grace grant on to them, and let perpetual light shine upon her. Amen.

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It sounds as if she was sedated at her request. From the BBC:

She went on hunger strike and was being fed through a tube. Eventually her family accepted her wish to die, so they stopped forcing her to stay alive and instead used palliative care to make her final days as peaceful and bearable as possible.

According to Dutch law “palliative sedation” aims to alleviate suffering at the end of life and is permissible when a patient’s life expectancy is no more than two weeks.

The End-of-Life Clinic shared a statement (in Dutch) from Noa’s friends: “To put an end to incorrect reporting (in foreign media in particular) about her death. Noa Pothoven did not die of euthanasia. To stop her suffering, she has stopped eating and drinking.”

Such was the scale of misreporting the Royal Dutch Medical Association responded: “Under Dutch law, euthanasia is defined as the active termination of life, by a physician, at a patients voluntary and well informed request… on persons who suffer unbearably from a medical condition.”

Ultimately the result is the same - she was allowed to end her life.

Under sedation, maybe with something like morphine, she would probably not have suffered.

If someone intends to kill themselves by not eating and drinking, is it morally acceptable to strap them down and insert an IV needle into their arm to keep them nourished and hydrated by force?

No Noa did not kill herself. All treatments she had received had failed. She received Palliation after a very long battle.

It was my understanding that the Catholic Church generally doesn’t approve of the removal of food and water to hasten someone’s death. Other IV drugs might be considered “extraordinary means” and could be removed, but food and water could not be removed.

This is just my understanding, correct me if I’m wrong.

Pallitative care is for those dying of terminal illnesses, I see no mention of such an illness in this case. Yes, I am sure we could contend that depression is an incurable illness but that’s subjective.

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The only person who can edit your post is yourself or moderators.

Is it actually true there are no mental health facilities in the Netherlands? There is actually “no way” to treat anorexia nervosa or the trauma of rape? Why was she raped repeatedly? Why did her parents just stand by and let her die?

I’m sorry, but there are ENORMOUS gaps in this story. It doesn’t add up.

I know rape survivors who overcame. I know girls who successfully battled anorexia and depression.

And no, suicide is NOT an acceptable treatment for any of these conditions.
Nice try.

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They can be committed to a psychiatric facility and fed through a feeding tube.

Mental illness is treatable.

This is a travesty and not very different from euthanasia it seems to me.


Mental illness is not always treatable. I know people who suffer from severe depression and who have not been able to find any antidepressant that works for them. They’ve even tried things like Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMI) without much success. I’m not sure that the way things were handled in this case was the best way to handle it, but it also doesn’t help to pretend that everything is black and white or that mental illness is always treatable.

Mental illness is generally treatable though there are exceptions. Antidepressants and mood stabilizers are useful and for those who don’t respond to these there is ECT which shows a %50 efficacy.

One thing I have not heard of is allowing someone with an eating disorder to stop eating. There are legal avenues in place to prevent patients from making this kind of choice.

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