NOTE: This story has been edited from its original form.
Warning: This article deals with an account of an eating disorder, rape/sexual assault and mental health and may be triggering for some readers.
On Sunday, 17-year-old Dutch teenager Noa Pothoven died.
Reports worldwide attributed the case to ‘legal euthanasia’, but a statement from Noa’s friends confirmed it was not euthanasia, the Guardian reported on Wednesday night.
Noa, from the eastern Dutch city of Arnhem, died in her bed at home, but the teen had previously contacted end of life clinics for help.
The Guardian stated her parents and doctors reportedly agreed not to force-feed her. Dutch medical guidelines state that if a patient does not consent, care providers may not provide treatment or care.
Noa said in her final social media post on Saturday that she “breathes but no longer lives” after being sexually assaulted and raped three times, first when she was 11. These assaults had led her to develop post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anorexia.
“After years of battling and fighting, I am drained,” Noa wrote in her native Dutch on Saturday. “After many discussions and evaluations, it was decided to let me go because my suffering is unbearable.”
Noa Pothoven’s story.
For years, Noa kept her trauma a secret.
Up until age 11, she had been a good student and a happy child. Then, seemingly overnight, Noa changed. She began to starve herself and her parents were totally in the dark as to why. They would not find out for years.