NETHERLANDS — A Dutch man who struggled with depression and became addicted to alcohol in trying to deal with the condition has died by assisted suicide.
Mark Langedijk, 41, received a lethal injection at his parents’ house this past summer, as recently recounted by his brother in the publication Linda.
“My brother suffered from depression and anxiety and tried to ‘cure’ it with alcohol. He’s from a normal family, he did not want this to happen. He did not take an easy way out. Just a humane one,” Marcel Langedijk wrote. “Alcoholism and depression are illnesses, just like cancer. People who suffer from it need a humane way out.”
He said that he and Mark had a happy childhood, but eight years ago, he learned that that his brother had an alcohol addiction. Langedijk sought help, ending up in the hospital and in rehab 21 times.
“Psychologists, psychiatrists, GPs and other health care professionals did their best to help him,” he outlined, “but Mark could not explain to anyone what he felt.”
Langedijk’s marriage also struggled during his battle with depression and alcoholism.
“My parents especially have done everything humanly possible to save Mark,” his brother said. “They adopted his two children, they took him in when his marriage finally collapsed, they helped him find accommodation, they arranged rehab, they gave him money, support and unconditional love.”
But feeling unable to overcome his problems, Langedijk decided to die and scheduled a date to end his life. His brother described his diary as a “hopeless cocktail of pain, drink, loneliness and sorrow.”
This past July, a doctor arrived at his parents’ home and administered three lethal injections after confirming that he was absolutely sure he didn’t want to live anymore. His last day was spent drinking, smoking, laughing with his family and eating meatballs.
“Mark’s eyes turned away, he sighed deeply–his last,” Langedijk’s brother recalled. “Dr. Marijke injected the third syringe. His face changed, lost color. My little brother was dead.”
But some have stated that Langedijk’s death is another example of the slippery slope in allowing assisted suicide.
“What someone suffering from alcoholism needs is support and treatment to get better from their addiction, which can be provided—not to be euthanized,” British MP Fiona Bruce, who also serves as co-chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Pro-Life Group, told the Daily Mail. “It is once again a troubling sign of how legalized euthanasia undermines in other countries the treatment and help the most vulnerable should receive.”
As previously reported, a Canadian man with mental illness and suffers from psychosomatic pain is currently seeking the right to die as treatment thus far has been unsuccessful.
“Non-existence is better than this,” Adam Maier-Clayton, 27 and an atheist, told CBC News last month. “The real reason for someone like me wanting the right to die is simple: Once there’s no quality of life, life is akin to a meaningless existence.”