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09 December 2023

Dutch euthanasia minister 'likely killed': police


Former Dutch health minister Els Borst, who helped introduce the world's first euthanasia law in 2002 and who was found dead in her garage this week, was "likely killed", police said Thursday.

"The investigation so far has shown that her death was likely the result of a crime," police said in a statement after her lifeless body was found on Monday. She was 81.

Two pathologists "concluded that an injury on her body led to her death and so this was not a natural death," police said, appealing for help in piecing together her final days and hours.

Borst's body was discovered by a friend on Monday evening in the garage of her Dutch home in the central town of Bilthoven.

Known for her progressive and liberal attitude towards medicine, Borst, who was a physician, was the Dutch health minister from 1994-2002.

The Netherlands scored a world first under her tenure when it adopted the first euthanasia law in 2001 and which came into force in April 2002.

Euthanasia under close medical supervision is increasingly popular as a way to end life the Netherlands and nearly 4,000 people undertook the practice in 2012.