February 29, 2024


Dutch authorities are alarmed by the discovery that a group of high school girls had egged each other on to commit suicide with macabre emails and text messages. “Who dares to?” was one of the SMSs. A local newspaper revealed that a dozen 12 to 15-year-old girls had been harassing each other. The group’s activities began in March after one of their friends did kill herself. A lecturer in child psychiatry at Utrecht University, Hermann van Engeland, says that talking about suicide somehow raises its status amongst youth. “We don’t know why,” he said.

However, American columnist Colleen Carroll Campbell asserts that she knows why. She blames it on the legalisation of euthanasia in the Netherlands. “The radical and sweeping embrace of suicide as an answer to the problem of human suffering, and the elevation of euthanasia to the status of a basic human right, has convinced Dutch teenagers that suicide must be a noble act, the kind that wins plaudits, prestige, and even legal protection.”