A married Dutch couple, 70 and 71, who spent their lives together after meeting in preschool, died by lethal injection in a double whammy.

A devoted Dutch couple who spent their lives together after meeting in preschool have died by lethal injection in a double euthanasia.

John Faber and Alice van Leiningen, aged 70 and 71, were married for nearly five decades before they ended their lives by simultaneous lethal injection in early June.

In the moments before their deaths, the couple was surrounded by friends and family, including their son, who found it difficult to accept his parents' decision to end their lives.

'You don't want to let your parents die,' John said of his reaction. 'So there were tears – our son said, “Better times will come, better weather” – but not for me.' Alice agreed before her death, saying: 'There is no other solution.'

John, who worked as a cargo boat operator, had suffered from severe back pain for more than 20 years, while his wife was diagnosed with dementia in 2022 which has since worsened.

John told the BBC: 'I've lived my life, I don't want any more pain. 'The life we've lived, we're getting old. [for it]. We think it has to be stopped.'

The couple enjoyed a lifelong partnership, first meeting in kindergarten. John began playing hockey for the Netherlands national youth team before training as a sports coach, while Alice became a primary school teacher.

They shared a passion for the sea and spent most of their lives on boats.

Turning this shared interest into a career, the couple bought a cargo boat and set up a freight forwarding company.

They had a son, who went to boarding school during the week while on the water, and to whom they took sailing holidays.

After more than a decade of heavy lifting and manual labor, Johns' back pain became serious, and the couple moved back to the land in a caravan.

After the surgery in 2003, Johns stopped working.

While Alice was still working as a teacher, her husband's physical limitations and poor quality of life led the couple to consider assisted dying before joining NVVE – the Netherlands' 'right to die' organization. gave

In 2018, Alice retired from teaching when she began to show early signs of dementia, the disease her father suffered from and which led to his death.

He was officially diagnosed in November 2022, and it gradually worsened to the point where he struggled to form sentences.

According to the Mail Online, the couple's GP was reluctant to accept their case for euthanasia due to Alice's dementia, which could raise uncertainty about the patient's capacity to consent.

The couple turned to the Center for Specialists in Euthanasia, which offers advice on assisted dying and has a mobile clinic that performs procedures in patients' homes.

Before their meeting, Alice and John spent the day with their son and grandchildren.

They played games, chatted and Alice went for a walk on the beach with her son.

'I remember we were having dinner, and I had tears in my eyes as we all had our last dinner together,' she said.

On the day they were to die, Alice and John spent their last two hours with their loved ones.

They used the time to share memories and listen to music – Idlewild by Travis for Els, the Beatles' Now and Then for Jan.

After that, his son said, the doctors came and 'everything happened quickly', the doctors followed their procedure and then it was done 'in just a few minutes'.

The couple were given simultaneous lethal injections by two doctors and died together on June 3.

In 2023, 9,068 people died in the Netherlands, 348 more than in 2022.

In the Netherlands there were 29 couples out of 8720 people in 2022. 16 couples died this way in 2021. In 2018, there were nine.

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