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Former Dutch Prime minister and his wife chose to die together 'hand in hand' with 'duo euthanasia'

Both the husband and wife were 93 years old when their fragile health drove them to decide to die together.

Former Dutch Prime minister and his wife chose to die together 'hand in hand' with 'duo euthanasia'
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels | Matthias Zomer; Associated Press

Falling in love is magical, of course, but growing in love and keeping up the promises till the end is what relationships are all about. Many older couples around the world are embodiments of such kind of love. One of the best examples of that is a high-profile couple from the Netherlands who after living a long life together, chose to die together too. On the 5th of February, Former Dutch Prime Minister Andreas (Dries) A. M. van Agt and his beloved wife Eugenie van Agt-Krekelberg ended their lives "hand in hand," per the announcement by The Rights Forum.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Muskan Anand
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Muskan Anand

After suffering a major brain hemorrhage in 2019, Van Agt's functioning was impaired permanently. As per the statement, he was "frustrated" that he couldn't extend his full efforts to make powerful speeches on the Palestine issue. Over time, he came to terms with the fact that he was in the final phase of his life and also chose to stay out of the public eye. Simultaneously, his loving wife Eugenie's health also began deteriorating. Both the husband and wife lived till they were 93 years old and were married for more than 70 years. Van Agt used to fondly refer to his spouse as "my girl." When they felt it was time, they decided to finally rest in peace together.

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As the founder and honorary Chairman of The Rights Forum, Van Agt was on a remarkable mission which he passionately adhered to till the end of his life. 14 years ago when he founded the advocacy organization, he aimed to bring justice for the Palestinians. He regarded accomplishing that feat to be his crowning achievement as a politician. "If someone else doesn't do it, I will," he said in a statement. The former Dutch Prime Minister had also published two books that voiced out the Palestine issue, "A Cry for Justice – The Tragedy of the Palestinian People" and  "Palestine in Agony." \

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Timo
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Timo

Van Agt's mission will now be the pursuit of the organization that he founded. "The work organization, board and Advisory Board of The Rights Forum lose an inspirer and example in Dries, and many of us also a dear and wise friend. But we continue his mission with determination, believing that his commitment to justice and his 'sumud' are a lasting inspiration to many," the organization mentioned in the statement. "He took administrative responsibility in a turbulent time and managed to inspire many with his striking personality and colorful style," read the joint statement by King Willem-Alexander, Queen Máxima and Princess Beatrix, per Associated Press.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Kampus Production
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Kampus Production

Elke Swart, the spokesperson of the Expertisecentrum Euthanasie, an organization that grants the euthanasia wish of about 1,000 people a year in the Netherlands, told the Guardian that they had strict requirements to test couples individually when they request assisted death. "Interest in this is growing, but it is still rare. It is pure chance that two people are suffering unbearably with no prospect of relief at the same time and that they both wish for euthanasia," she said. As per the Expertisecentrum Euthanasie, the Dutch government allows euthanasia only under certain conditions like voluntary and well-considered requests, when the patient is suffering unbearably with no chance of recovery or when there is no other reasonable solution.

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