Perhaps the only thing more surprising than the news that Belgium allowed the euthanasia of twin brothers who were deaf and going blind is how many commenters appear to favor this event and wish for similar laws in the United States.
USA Today and various other sources report that the 45-year-old brothers had been close companions all their lives and lived in the same house. According to a family member, they were distraught at the idea that blindness would rob them of their independence, did not want to live in any kind of assisted-living facility and were horrified by the thought that they would never see each other again -- which would also make communication difficult, at least at first.
Belgian law allows for the right to die when the patient is “suffering.”
I’m an avid supporter of right-to-die laws for terminally ill patients who endure terrible suffering. I’m a shocked observer of the agreement of a government and doctor that these brothers’ plight, as sad as it was, represented the sort of suffering that called for that right to be exercised.
I might be in the minority. In online comments, many people supported, or at least semi-supported, the decision. At least the overriding sentiment appeared not to be anger that these deaths had occurred but rather concern that the United States hasn’t taken greater steps toward some sort of compassionate-death law.