(Photo : REUTERS)
Twin brothers in Belgium were legally put to death by lethal injection after learning they were going blind and wouldn't be able to see each other again.
Marc and Eddy Verbessem, 45, spent their entire lives together. They never married and lived in an apartment together after moving from their childhood home working as shoe repairmen, according to the Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws. They both suffered from an incurable illness and were deaf.
So when the twins learned that they would not be able to communicate with each other one day, it was too much for them to handle.
"The thought of only being able to feel each other was unbearable," said one according to a Huffington Post translation from Het Laatste Nieuws.
Euthanasia is a legal practice in Belgium as long as a patient states that the choice is their own and a doctor agrees that the patient is experiencing intolerable psychological or physical pain.
The Verbessem brothers were denied of their euthanasia request at the first hospital they went to. "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," The first hospital said according to The Telegraph. "I do not think this was what the legislation meant by 'unbearable suffering'."
But the doctor who euthanized the twins Dr. David Dufour said that he could detect their suffering.
"Physically, their conditions were strongly deteriorating," Dufour said to Belgium television station VTM according to the Huffington Post. "They were happy and relieved that a date was set to end their suffering."
And the twins' older brother Dirk Verbassem said that he also saw his siblings' pain.
"Many will wonder why my brothers have opted for euthanasia because there are plenty of deaf and blind that have a 'normal' life," he told the Telegraph, according to the Huffington Post. "But my brothers trudged from one disease to another. They were really worn out."