An elderly Dutch couple kissed goodbye and died holding each other’s hands in a rare double euthanasia.
Nic and Trees Elderhorst, both 91, said it was their final wish to pass away together after 65 years of marriage.
According to reports, the couple both felt they could no longer live their lives due to ill health and didn’t want to go on alone if one of them died.
The pair married in 1952 and lived together in their home down of Didam, near Arnhem, ever since.
Nic had suffered a stroke five years ago and needed to take a gruelling course of antibiotics every day to keep himself alive.
Trees had cared for her husband in recent years while seeing her own health slowly decline.
The couple had previously filed for euthanasia and, after Trees was diagnosed with dementia earlier this year, doctors felt the conditions for them to end their own lives had been met.
The couple shared one last kiss before passing away together hand-in-hand on June 4.
“It soon became clear that it could not wait much longer,” the couple’s daughter told The Gelderlander [translated].
“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 added:
“They gave each other a big kiss and passed away confidently holding hands. According to their own wish.”
The Netherlands became the first country to legalise euthanasia in 2002, and since then more than 5,500 people have ended their lives this way. However it is rare for a couple to be euthanised together.