Man faces jail for helping woman with psychiatric problems to die


The public prosecution department is taking a 45-year-man to court for helping a woman he had known for two months and who had serious psychiatric problems, to die.

The department told judges on Friday that the man, from the Wadden island of Ameland, should be jailed for 12 months, three suspended, for helping the woman to die in August 2020.

The woman’s death was declared a suicide but a short while afterwards, her mother was approached on Facebook by a man who claimed he was with her when she died. He also spoke about getting hold of the equipment needed, including a tube and a plastic bag, the department said.

The mother went to the police who reopened the case and discovered the two had met two months previously on a dating app and had discussed her psychiatric problems.

The public prosecutor said during Friday’s hearing that there is no question the man acted with the best of intentions. Nevertheless, ‘helping someone to kill themselves is punishable by law, and with good reason,’ the department said.

Helping someone to kill themselves is illegal in the Netherlands, unless carried out by a doctor in line with the law on euthanasia. The maximum sentence is three years.

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