What is the moral difference between these two starvation scenarios?

Two articles are in the news this week about two cases of starvation. One involved an animal, (a dog) in New Zealand and the other involved a young woman in the Netherlands. One of them was saved from starvation but the other was allowed to starve to death with no intervention from those who claimed to love them.

Starvation scenario one.

The SPCA is investigating an “unacceptable” case of animal neglect after a malnourished dog was found.

[…] An SPCA spokeswoman said it could take months for a dog to get to the state she was in but the case was being classed as a prolonged starvation.

[…] The spokeswoman said the female dog, who has been named Polly and is believed to about a year old, was scared and shutdown on arrival.
She was slowly “coming around” with care from the team looking after her.
“She has a long road of recovery ahead of her but out team will continue to give her all the care, training and medical attention she needs to make a recovery.”
The spokeswoman said Polly’s case was an unacceptable case of animal neglect.
“It is an animal owner’s legal responsibility to ensure their physical, health and behaviour needs are being met. No animal should be left to suffer like this.”

Stuff
Noa Pothoven: Starvation scenario two.

On Tuesday, reports flooded the Internet of a Dutch teenage rape victim being legally euthanized for depression. However, clarified reporting has revealed that although Noa Pothoven, 17, did request to be medically euthanized, she was refused the deadly “treatment.” Tragically, Pothoven died of self-starvation on Sunday.

“Initial reports claimed Noa Pothoven chose to end her life Sunday with the assistance of an end of life clinic, which has been legal in the Netherlands since 2002,” said a Fox News report. “But it is unclear whether she died because doctors directly intervened, or if she refused to eat.”
A spokesman for Dutch parliament member Lisa Westerveld told DutchNews.nl that “as far as we know, [Pothoven] died because she didn’t eat any more.” Westerveld was allowed to say good-bye to the teen before she passed.
According to the U.K.-based outlet The Sun, Pothoven suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anorexia. She was reportedly molested as a child and raped by two men at the age of 14.

[…] “Noa Pothoven had been severely ill with anorexia and other conditions for some time. Without telling her parents, she sought and was refused euthanasia.”
“The family had tried many kinds of psychiatric treatment and Noa Pothoven was repeatedly hospitalised; she made a series of attempts to kill herself in recent months. In desperation the family sought electro shocktherapy, which was refused due to her young age,” explained the reporter. “After electroshock therapy was refused, Pothoven insisted she wanted no further treatment and a hospital bed was set up at home in the care of her parents. At the start of June she began refusing all fluids and food, and her parents and doctors agreed not to force feed her.”
“A decision to move to palliative care and not to force feed at the request of the patient is not euthanasia.


The death of Pothoven sparked commentary on the practice of euthanasia and assisted suicide. For example, Pope Francis weighed in via Twitter, writing, “Euthanasia and assisted suicide are a defeat for all. We are called never to abandon those who are suffering, never giving up but caring and loving to restore hope.”

[…] In the Netherlands, euthanasia and assisted suicide have been legalized since 2002.

[…] At least 83 mentally ill people were killed by assisted suicide in the Netherlands in 2017, a LiveAction report said.

Daily Wire


I have two questions for you.

  1. Is there a moral difference between these two starvation scenarios?
  2. If you do nothing to prevent an animal or a human being from starving to death how would you describe their death? Suicide, euthanasia, death from neglect or murder?
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