Former Dutch prime minister, wife, die together with state-sponsored suicide

Former Dutch Prime Minister Dries van Agt and his wife Eugene have died by state-sponsored suicide.

The couple died on Monday "hand-in-hand" in their hometown of Nijmegen, Netherlands. They were both 93 years old when they decided to die by euthanasia. Both of them were reportedly in failing health.

While duo euthanasia remains relatively rare in the Netherlands, it is rising. According to the New York Post, 29 couples opted for lethal injection in 2022. This compared to 16 couples who died by euthanasia in 2021 and 13 in 2020.

A human rights nonprofit founded by Agt called "The Rights Forum" announced the couple's death on Friday 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 always continued to refer to as 'my girl,'” the organization wrote.

Before receiving the lethal injection, the former Dutch prime minister suffered a significant brain hemorrhage in 2019 from which he never fully recovered. The medical incident occurred when he was giving a speech to commemorate a Palestinian cause.

Van Agt, who was a Christian Democrat, was a staunch supporter of the Palestinian people after he visited Israel in 1999. He went on to found "The Rights Forum" in 2009, which is an advocacy nonprofit organization that fights for a "just and sustainable Dutch and European policy regarding the Palestine/Israel issue."

Mark Rutte, the prime minister of the Netherlands, described van Agt as his "great-great-grandfather in office" and praised him as a true leader.

"With his flowery and unique language, his clear convictions and his striking presentation, Dries van Agt gave color and substance to Dutch politics in a time of polarization and party renewal," said Rutte on X.

Furthermore, the Dutch Royal Family, including King Willem-Alexander, Queen Máxima, and Princess Beatrix, also honored Van Agt in a statement and referred to his service as "inspirational."

"He took administrative responsibility in a turbulent time and managed to inspire many with his striking personality and colorful style," the Royal Family said.

Van Agt served as the Netherlands Prime Minister from 1977 until 1982.

Image: Title: dutch