A woman who chronicled her journey to euthanasia on social media has died by assisted suicide, prompting widespread discussion about the practice. Lauren Hoeve, who reportedly suffered from Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), also known as chronic fatigue, shared a morbid meme as her final post on X.
“This will be my last tweet. Thanks for the love, everyone. I’m going to rest a bit more and be with my loved ones. Enjoy a last morbid meme from me,” wrote Hoeve, who was only 28 years old.
The post quickly went viral, garnering over 7 million views from people on X, outraged that medical professionals believed Hoeve was eligible for medically assisted death.
“If you don’t believe the slippery slope is real with euthanasia then just have a look at what’s happening in the Benelux countries. They’ll kill you for non-terminal conditions, for depression, for being a burden. This woman died via state sponsored suicide,” wrote Australian commentator Rita Panahi.
Others, like podcaster Matt Walsh, decried Hoeve’s situation, calling the decision to let her go through with physician-assisted suicide “dystopian” and “bleaker than anyone ever imagined.”
“This 28-year-old woman had her government murder her because she had chronic fatigue. The suicide booth in Futurama was a prediction, not satire,” added another user by the handle @nostalgicnerd96.
Several days after stating her goodbyes on social media, Hoeve’s family issued a statement on her social media account directed at friends and followers.
“Lauren passed away peacefully on January 27, 2024, at age 28. She requested euthanasia after years of unbearable suffering caused by severe Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME/CFS),” begins the statement.
“Lauren’s family and loved ones are touched and overwhelmed by the interest and support from the media and the public. However, Lauren believed that our attention should be on the living. Millions of people are affected by ME/CFS, with no established treatment pathways and no cure. Why is their suffering acknowledged enough for euthanasia but not enough to fund clinical research?”
Continuing, the statement encourages readers to support initiatives that “advocate for ME patients” and asks people to respect their privacy during this “difficult time.”
According to the Daily Mail, in addition to suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome, Hoeve also struggled with post-exertional malaise, which causes extreme nausea, pain, and fatigue that she described as “absolute torture.”
In 2022, Hoeve started sharing her journey to medically assisted death after seeking approval. After sharing on her blog Brain Fog that her doctor was not able to euthanize her due to her “psychological conditions,” including autism and ADHD, she was waitlisted to speak with a euthanasia specialist. One year later, several doctors concluded she was “mentally competent” to make the decision to be euthanized.
Hoeve’s controversial death comes at the heels of Canada’s decision to halt its medical assistance in dying (MAID) program to include the mentally ill.
Last week, Canadian Health Minister Mark Holland and Justice Minister Arif Virani announced the program is delayed until 2027 because a parliamentary committee determined the health system is unprepared for the expansion.
“By setting out a timeline of three years, it’s an indication that the systems need to move towards readiness in two years. There’s the opportunity to do another review, and to assess the readiness of the system through a parliamentary process,” explained Holland.
While the plan is to delay MAID eligibility for the mentally ill for another three years, if the Liberals lose the next federal election, Conservative Party of Canada leader Pierre Poilievre vows to scrap the expansion altogether.