A pair of identical twin brothers from Belgium both made the decision to be euthanized when they discovered that they were going blind. The brothers were born deaf. Both men, age 45, were euthanized by lethal injection, which is legal in Belgium.
The brothers, Marc And Eddy Verbessem, were incredibly distraught when their doctor told them that they were going blind. They could not deal with the fact that at some point they would never see each other again. The diagnosis in combination with existing medical issues led the brothers to make a decision, which their doctor said was in “full conscience.”
The brothers had been together their entire lives, sharing an apartment and an occupation as cobblers.
As reported by nydailynews.com, the procedure was especially controversial in this case because neither of the brothers were terminally ill.
An incredibly controversial topic, forms of assisted suicide are only legal in Montana, Washington, and Oregon in the US. Assisted suicide is also legal in Switzerland.
Euthanasia is different than assisted suicide, as the patient does not need to physically assist the doctor in the procedure. Euthanasia has been decriminalized in Belgium, Luxembourg, and The Netherlands.
As reported by Daily Mail, Belgium had over 1100 cases of euthanasia in 2011. In most cases the procedure was performed for patients suffering with terminal cancer. Currently the law only allows those over the age of 18, and who can make the conscious decision to be euthanized. Legislation has recently been drafted to include terminally ill children and those suffering with Alzheimer’s.
Marc And Eddy Verbessem’s doctor stated that the twin brothers passed peacefully after a cup of coffee, some conversation, and saying goodbye to their families.