Wife and former Dutch prime minister die ‘hand in hand’ in assisted suicide

February 12, 2024

Dries van Agt, a former prime minister of the Netherlands, and his wife Eugenie passed away "hand in hand" after undergoing legal euthanasia.

According to Friday's announcement by the Rights Forum, a human rights organization that Agt co-founded, the couple passed away on Monday in his hometown of Nijmegen. They were both 93 years old, according to The New York Post.

Prior to their decision to end their lives, Agt and his wife had been dealing with declining health for a while.

In 2019, the ex-prime minister had a brain hemorrhage while speaking at a memorial for the Palestinians, an issue he had devoted the last decades of his life to. He never got back on his feet after that event.

Statement from Rights Forum

"In consultation with the closest family, we announce that our founder and honorary chairman Dries van Agt passed away on Monday 5 February in his hometown of Nijmegen," the Rights Forum said in a statement.

"He died together and hand in hand with his beloved wife Eugenie van Agt-Krekelberg, the support and support with whom he was together for more than seventy years, and whom he has always continued to refer to as 'my girl.'"

"The funeral took place in a private circle. Van Agt and his wife were both 93 years old."

Professional History

The political career and dedication to the Palestinian people of the lawyer Van Agt brought him immense reputation. He served as Minister of Justice (1971–1977) and Minister of Foreign Affairs (1982) throughout his political career.

From 1977 to 1982, he presided over three cabinets as prime minister. He was the European Community ambassador to Japan and the US from 1987 to 1995.

Before the Catholic People's Party (KVP) joined with the CDA, Van Agt was a member of that party. He led his party and the political movement from 1976 to 1982.

He finally severed ties with the party in July 2021 after fifty years of membership, citing his disapproval of its callous stance toward the Palestinians as the reason.

About The Death

When asked about the couple's decision to end their lives, nonprofit director Gerad Jonkman told broadcaster NOS that Van Agt and his wife "couldn't live without each other" despite their terminal illnesses.

The practice of duo euthanasia, in which two individuals are fatally injected at the same time, is reportedly becoming more common in the Netherlands.

The number of couples opting for the paired death rose to twenty-nine in 2022 from thirteen the previous year and sixteen in 2021.

Throughout his lengthy political career, Van Agt held various positions, the most notable of which was prime minister of the Netherlands from 1977 until 1982.

After visiting Israel in 1999, the Christian Democrat was more outspoken in his backing of the Palestinian cause.

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