Twins Tragic Victims of Belgium's Assisted Suicide Law

By:  Dave Bohon
01/18/2013
       
Twins Tragic Victims of Belgium's Assisted Suicide Law

Twin brothers in Belgium have become the latest faces of the practice called physician-assisted suicide, renewing the debate over the legalized atrocity known euphemistically as "death with dignity."

Twin brothers in Belgium have become the latest faces of the practice called physician-assisted suicide, renewing the debate over the legalized atrocity known euphemistically as "death with dignity."

Proponents of the “Death With Dignity” suicide laws that are currently allowing people in Washington, Oregon, and Montana to kill themselves may want to consider the tragic end of twin brothers in Belgium who decided they didn't want to live anymore.

The 45-year-old brothers, identified by USA Today as Marc and Eddy Verbessem, were both deaf, and had recently learned that they were soon to go blind as well. That news led them to the conclusion that they would rather die than become dependent upon others. While Belgium supposedly allows euthanasia only in cases of “unbearable suffering,” and a local doctor had denied the Verbessems' request to help them die, the two found an eager helper in David Dufour, a doctor at Brussels University Hospital who agreed to assist at their suicides by lethal injection December 14. Dufour told German television network RTL that the brothers were “very happy” to be able to end their lives, and he was only too glad to help.

“It was a relief to see the end of their suffering,” Dufour said. “They had a cup of coffee in the hall, it went well and a rich conversation. The separation from their parents and brother was very serene and beautiful.” At the end, “there was a little wave of their hands and then they were gone.” And with that Dufour tidied up, put away the instruments of death, and went on with his own life.

Family members said that Marc and Eddy, who had worked as cobblers, were growing distraught over the prospects of going blind, and though their parents and brother tried to talk them out of it, the suicide option, made relatively easy by Belgian society, proved too appealing to resist.

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