Life Matters Media
Quality of life at the end of life

Couple Dies Together In Rare Double Euthanasia


After 65 years of marriage, a couple facing deteriorating health died together in a rare double euthanasia.

Nic and Trees Elderhorst, both 91, died in their hometown of Didam, in the Netherlands.

Both suffered from deteriorating physical health in recent years, with Mr. Elderhorst left with reduced mobility after a stroke in 2012 and facing increased hospitalizations. Mrs. Elderhorst was facing dementia.

“It soon became clear that it could not wait much longer,” the couple’s daughter told The Gelderlander.

“The geriatrician determined that our mother was still mentally competent. However, if our father were to die, she could become completely disoriented, ending up in a nursing home.

“Something which she desperately did not want. Dying together was their deepest wish.”

Another daughter told the newspaper they “gave each other a big kiss and passed away confidently holding hands. According to their own wish.”

The Elderhorst’s story sparked headlines across the globe.

The Netherlands became the first country to legalize euthanasia in 2002, even allowing it in some cases for seriously ill minors 12 and older.

– Elderhorst family photo