Dutch Couple Ends It All In A Double Euthanasia:'I've lived my life, I don't want pain anymore.

Dutch Couple Ends It In A Double Euthanasia:'I've lived my life, I don't want pain anymore.

Jan Faber and Els van Leeningen, a loving Dutch couple who met in preschool and spent their entire lives together, died by lethal injection in early June. Married for nearly fifty years, seventy-year-old Jan and seventy-seven-year-old Els chose to end their lives together. They were surrounded by friends and family, including their son, who struggled to accept their decision.Read fullarticle

Els, who was diagnosed with dementia in 2022, had seen her condition worsen, while Jan, a cargo boat operator, had endured severe back pain for over twenty years. Els expressed, "Better times will come, better weather," but declared that "there is no other solution." Jan told the BBC, "I've lived my life; I don't want pain anymore. We believe that it must end."

The couple, who met in kindergarten, had a lifelong relationship. Els became a primary school teacher, and Jan played hockey for the Netherlands' national youth team before becoming a sports coach. They lived aboard boats for much of their lives, sharing a love for the sea, and eventually started a cargo transportation business.

Their son attended boarding school during the week while they lived on the water. After Jan's back condition worsened, they moved to a caravan. Jan had surgery in 2003 and stopped working, while Els continued teaching until she resigned in 2018 due to early symptoms of dementia.

The couple joined NVVE, the Netherlands' "right to die" organization, due to Jan's physical constraints and declining quality of life. When Els's dementia progressed, making consent a concern, their general practitioner hesitated to approve euthanasia. They turned to the Centre of Expertise on Euthanasia, which provides guidance and has a mobile clinic for assisted dying procedures.

On the day of their appointment, Els and Jan spent time with their son and grandchildren, sharing memories, playing games, and walking on the beach. Their son recalled their last dinner together as an emotional moment. The couple spent their final hours with loved ones, reminiscing and listening to music.

On June 3, two doctors administered lethal injections simultaneously, and Jan and Els passed away together. In the Netherlands, euthanasia accounted for 9,068 deaths in 2023, including 29 couples.

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