Deaf twins living in Belgium were euthanized last month, reports state. The 45-year-old brothers were born deaf and were slowly going blind; the news was too much for them, and they decided to end their lives together.
Marc and Eddy Verbessem spent their entire lives together: living, working, never marrying. The brothers were told they had an incurable disease that would rob them of the ability to see and communicate with one another, which caused them a great deal of suffering.
The brothers chose to end their lives on Dec. 14, surrounded by family. According to Belgian TV station RTL, they had a cup of coffee together and said their goodbyes before receiving their lethal injections.
"They had a cup of coffee in the hall. It went well and [was] a rich conversation. Then the separation from their parents and brother was very serene and beautiful," Dr. Dufour told RTL. "At the last, there was a little wave of their hands and then they were gone."
Belgium is only one of two countries in the world to legalize euthanasia but has restricted it to people over 18. According to the Ottawa Citizen, nearly 1,1,33 cases of euthanasia were recorded in 2011 alone. Of course, there is a great deal of controversy surrounding the practice.
"There is a law, but that is clearly open to various interpretations. If any blind or deaf are allowed to euthanize, we are far from home. I do not think this was what the legislation meant by 'unbearable suffering,' doctors at a different hospital in Belgium told The Telegraph.
Yet the brothers' older brother insisted that the twins' lives were unbearable to them.
"Many will wonder why my brothers have opted for euthanasia because there are plenty of deaf and blind that have a 'normal' life. But my brothers trudged from one disease to another. They were really worn out," Dirk Verbassem told The Telegraph.