Christian Democrat Dries van Agt was Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 1977 to 1982.
In 2019, Van Agt suffered a brain hemorrhage from which he never fully recovered. Wife Eugenie's health also deteriorated.
On February 5, the couple chose to end their lives together through legal euthanasia. They were both 93 years old.
“He died alongside his beloved wife Eugenie van Agt Krekelberg, who was the support and anchor with whom he was together for over 70 years and whom he always called 'my girl.' Writes the human rights organization Rights Forum.
The couple, who “cannot live without each other” according to the Rights Forum, will be buried in Nijmegen.
Euthanasia has been legal in the Netherlands since 2002, but there are six strict conditions that must be met: unbearable suffering and no hope of relief.
The number of couples dying together due to this has risen in recent years. In 2020, 26 people were allowed to die at the same time as their partners. The following year, the number was 32, followed by 58 people in 2022.
– Interest in this is growing, but it is still rare. It is a mere coincidence that two people at the same time are suffering unbearably without any hope of relief, and that they both want euthanasia, says Elke Swart, spokesman for the Expertise Center for Euthanasia, which annually provides euthanasia to about 1,000 people.