Momentum Builds As Rare Double-Euthanasia Is Performed In The Netherlands

Nic and Trees Elderhorst died in a double euthanasia Credit: CEN/Familie Elderhorst

An elderly couple died holding hands surrounded by loved ones in a rare double euthanasia.

Nic and Trees Elderhorst, both 91, died in their hometown of Didam, in the Netherlands, after 65 years of marriage.

The couple both suffered from deteriorating physical health over the past five years, with Mr Elderhorst left with reduced mobility after a stroke in 2012.

Walking had also become increasingly difficult for his wife, who had also suffered from memory loss.

“It soon became clear that it could not wait much longer,” the couple’s daughter told The Gelderlander [translated].

“The geriatrician determined that our mother was still mentally competent. However, if our father were to die, she could become completely disoriented, ending up in a nursing home.

“Something which she desperately did not want. Dying together was their deepest wish.”

Another daughter added: “They gave each other a big kiss and passed away confidently holding hands. According to their own wish.”

The Netherlands became the first country to legalise euthanasia in 2002, however it is rare for a couple to be euthanised together.

Dick Bosscher of the Dutch Association of Voluntarily Life Ending said: “It’s factually a coincidence when both people meet the demands for euthanasia at the same time.

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