In Holland Woman granted mercy killing over chronic fear of germs

A clinic called, End Of Life, has revealed that its first psychiatric patient, a 54-year-old woman who had been suffering from mysophobia, a pathological fear of germs or dirt, has been administered with a strong sedative and a muscle relaxant which stops the heart.

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A new law allowing Dutch citizens the right to take their life for mental reasons, not just terminal, has been put to use once again as a woman has now been granted mercy killing over chronic fear of germs.

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A clinic called, End Of Life, has revealed that its first psychiatric patient, a 54-year-old woman who had been suffering from mysophobia, a pathological fear of germs or dirt, has been administered with a strong sedative and a muscle relaxant which stops the heart.

News reports reveal that one of the End-of-life Clinic's psychiatrists, Gerty Casteelen, had reportedly conducted eight hours of interviews with the patient before coming to the conclusion that she really wished to die.

Speaking during an interview, the medic recalled:

"It was a long process. I came to understand that her fears completely controlled her life. All she could do all day was clean. It was impossible for her to maintain a relationship. Her whole development had stalled.

"The patient wanted to die in the evening, at 11 minutes past eight, in her own home. She chose the very precise time for reasons she kept to herself."

The reports also reveal that the patient had prepared invitation cards for her memorial, as well as buying champagne for the four women who would watch her die.

The women are: the psychiatrist, Ms Casteelen, who was to administer the injection, an assisting nurse from the End Of Life clinic, the patient's GP and a close friend.

Ms Casteelen goes on to reveal that the patient was happy and relaxed.

"At eight o'clock, I said: 'We have to start preparing things now. She replied: 'No. I would like another glass of champagne.' We asked her if she still wanted to die. She told us how she had been looking forward to this moment; how she was going to be free.'

"We wished her well on her journey. She fell asleep very quickly. That's when I put the muscle relaxant into her."

The news reports reveal that Dutch Euthanasia Commission, monitors these mercy killings.

The process is reported to involve a patient submitting a request to die to a doctor who, in turn, must agree that the patient is in a medically hopeless condition, suffering 'unbearably', either physically or - contentiously - mentally, with no hope of improvement.

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The request is later sent to an ethics committee which makes the decision, normally within a week.

Statistics have revealed that, of the 140,000 or so deaths a year in Holland, four percent are the result of doctor-assisted suicide as the numbers are on a steady rise.

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