The press of the civilized world, with its usual “humanity”, tells the story of a young Dutch woman, Zoraya ter Beeke, who will die in May this year, “fulfilling her right to a dignified death”, when she will be euthanized, as she had requested some time ago. The journalist Albert Molins Renter tells us in the Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia that “the young woman is in good physical health, but suffers from mental problems that cause her ‘unbearable physical and emotional suffering'” and that “she lives in a house with her two cats and her boyfriend Stern […], with whom she has said in several interviews that she is in love”.

I don’t know what Zoraya’s two cats and her boyfriend think, but I find it brutal to imagine her sitting on the sofa in her house, in front of the microphones of the plundering hosts of entertainment shows, seeking ‘ratings’ for an audience that is no longer moved by anything, showing off her ‘various interviews’, hugging her boyfriend and/or stroking her cats, and telling the world about her approaching death. Finally, her relief. The triumph of her right to choose. The conquest of another freedom.

In the Netherlands in 2022, deaths by euthanasia, i.e. assisted suicide, account for 5.1% of all deaths in the country. It was the first country in the world to legalize euthanasia in 2002.

My view has nothing to do with any religious dogma. I believe that adult human beings have the right to decide what to do with our lives in the face of the infinite possibilities offered to us by advertising or our imagination. The mystery of life would be incomplete without freedom of choice. But I have a feeling that, like everything else these days, the issue of euthanasia will be taken completely out of context, become a macabre fad, and end up as the perfect excuse for easy, legal and democratized death to become the increasingly common answer to every painful challenge in life.

I would prefer to be wrong, but when I see the great cultural, human, and cognitive regression of modern Western society, I cannot believe in its self-congratulatory and triumphalist soap operas about the salvation of seals by Green Peace or the increasing compliance of people with the right to die. Not because I am indifferent to baby seals, or because I deny anyone the right to commit suicide.

I am concerned about the mental orientation that constructs such views when we are taught to celebrate death with the same enthusiasm with which we once so naively celebrated life. And even if we respect Zoraya ter Beeke’s right to decide, this is the subject of the national and international press, the press that creates fashions and mass madness in times of crisis and a clear lack of references.

Let’s put ourselves in the wrong frame of mind for a few minutes and remember the historical and social context of this real world in which Zoraya will die in a few weeks. We are in a deeply complex and troubled reality where there will be no easy answers or ready-made models to follow. I am afraid that soon, within this moribund and prehistoric social model, violence, pain, and madness will continue to grow, and what will be most lacking will be common sense and dispassionate reflection, the only things that help us not to get lost. But in the face of every mental problem that the system imposes on us with its values and beliefs, its doctors offer us drugs, anesthesia, amnesia, and without end, euthanasia as a solution.

With the same skill with which the just struggle for the rights of women and sexual minorities has been transformed, in many cases, into a real war between the sexes, a mechanical counting of quotas in the positions of the new managers of the old corporations according to their sex and, as if that were not enough, the linguistic mutilation of the human verb, the normalization and even the romantic promotion of euthanasia “as another way” to “solve our problems”, which can be transformed into another weapon in the neoliberal system’s war against humanity.

The meaninglessness of life guaranteed by an individualist and consumerist society, the destruction of culture, and the increase in poverty and marginalization will inevitably continue to generate more and more mental disorders because you have to be a robot not to go mad in the face of such a reality.

If those who are superfluous to the system opt for the last democratic right, they have left, that of not suffering via a kind of euthanasia, without pain and even with a bit of ‘glamour’, even with the burden and cost to the health systems, the goal will be achieved. Everybody wins, even the media, who get their morbid ‘show’ for free. Instead of killing us with wars and pandemics, they offer us a ‘democratic right’ to ‘freely choose’ between life and death.

I may be wrong about the specific case of Zoraya ter Beeke, but I am sure that those who deliberately turned this private story into a public one were not moved by their compassion for a 28-year-old girl who is going to die ‘because the doctors do not know what else to do’.

Perhaps I should add a few obvious and banal sentences about the great gift of life, that our ignorance prevents us from saying anything definitive, that as long as there is life there will always be hope, that medical science will continue to advance and not only towards new biological weapons, that in the absence of answers from Western medicine, there are hundreds of ways of ‘non-traditional’ treatment (which are much more traditional than those of the arrogant ‘civilized world’).

I have sacred respect for other people’s decisions about their lives. I just want them to be truly aware and wake up. Unfortunately, in this world of so many concepts, fetishes and causes, which are increasingly coded and manipulated for the benefit of the few, I cannot trust these new advertisements. Especially when what is being advertised is death.

And for young Zoraya ter Beeke, I wish that her wish does not come true. I wish her the miracle of life, which is superior to all our rights and freedoms. And for her two cats and her boyfriend, with some discomfort for things I will not explain now, I wish the same.