Going Blind, Deaf Twins Die by Assisted Suicide

Belgian brothers were inseparable, doctor says
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Suggested by pg13
Posted Jan 14, 2013 4:20 PM CST
Deaf Twins Going Blind Die by Assisted Suicide
Two deaf brothers were euthanized by legal injection in Belgium.   (Shutterstock)

A pair of deaf identical twins were euthanized last month in Belgium after learning they would go blind and not see each other again, ABC News reports. Unable to bear the thought, the 45-year-olds died by lethal injection at the Brussels University Hospital after having a cup of coffee. "They were very happy," said Dr. David Dufour. "It was a relief to see the end of their suffering." Their last moments "went well," he said, and included "a rich conversation."

"Then the separation from their parents and brother was very serene and beautiful,” he added. “At the last there was a little wave of their hands and then they were gone." The brothers, whose names were kept private, had spent their whole lives together, working as cobblers and sharing an apartment, the Telegraph reports. Their case is unique because their illness was not fatal, but Belgian law allows doctors to assist the deaths of mentally sound, "suffering" patients over the age of 18. More than 1,000 died by euthanasia in Belgium in 2011. (Read more euthanasia stories.)

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