Dutch man chooses to get euthanised due to his alcohol addiction

A man in the Netherlands chose to die surrounded by family, rather than continue living as an alcoholic.
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A man in the Netherlands chose to die surrounded by family, rather than continue living as an alcoholic.

A man in the Netherlands has been allowed to die because he could no longer carry on living as an alcoholic. 

Mark Langedijk, a father of two, chose to die on July 14 at his parent's home by lethal injection administered by a doctor, The Independent reported.

An account of the ordeal written by his journalist brother said he was laughing, drinking beer and ham sandwiches with his family hours before dying.

People in the Netherlands who are in "unbearable suffering" with no prospect of improvement can choose to die under euthanasia legislation introduced in 2000.

READ MORE: 
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Marcel Langedijk said his brother, who came from a happy home, found out he had an addiction eight years ago.

"I was particularly angry at Mark," he said. "At first we did what most people do; help. My parents especially have done everything humanly possible to save Mark."

Eventually, Mark told his family he wanted to die after eight years of help and 21 stints in rehab, Marcel wrote in the magazine Linda.

A doctor from the Support and Consultation on Euthanasia in the Netherlands approved his application for euthanasia.

On the day of his death, he "laughed, drank, smoked, ate ham and cheese sandwiches and soup with meatballs".

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His doctor arrived at his parents' home at 3.15pm and explained the procedure, telling him to get into bed and to stay calm, Marcel wrote. 

The family began crying "my parents, everyone actually, even Mark".

"We cried, told each other that we loved each other, that it would be all right, that we would care for each other, that we would see each other again, we held each other," he said.

Mark died after the doctor administered the third syringe, said Marcel.

"His face changed, lost colour. My little brother was dead."

Last year, more than 5,500 people chose to end their life under Holland's euthanasia laws.

In an interview with The Independent, Marcel defended his brother's decision.

"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," he told the paper. 

 - Stuff

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