The documentary ‘Liefs, Melissa’ tells us about Melissa, a young woman struggling with depression and borderline personality disorder. After more than ten years of therapy and heavy medication, Melissa was convinced she could only find the peace and quiet that she longed for in death. However, finding a humane way of suicide turned out to be a struggle all on its own.
A physician asked by a patient to assist during a voluntary death is committing a criminal offence unless the attending physician acts in accordance with criteria of due care, which includes judging the physical and mental suffering of the patient. This suffering has to be ‘hopeless and unbearable’ before the physician is legally allowed to facilitate the voluntary death.
After Melissa’s several requests for a physician-assisted suicide were rejected, Melissa took her own life in November 2009, at the age of 27.