They’d rather be dead than deaf and blind…twins choose euthanasia

Maryan Street is supporting a euthanasia bill in parliament at the moment.

I can certainly say that in the past year I have changed my views on euthanasia substantially and fully support  any initiative that will reform our out-dated laws.

However there are many who will use stories like the one below, where two brothers decided to end their lives because they’d rather not be blind as well as deaf.

Identical twins have been killed by Belgian doctors in a unique case under the country’s euthanasia laws.

The 45-year-old brothers from the Antwerp region were born deaf and sought euthanasia after finding that they would also soon go blind.

They told doctors that they were unable to bear the thought of not being able to see each other again. 

The twins, who have not been named but have been pictured on Belgian television, had spent their entire lives together, sharing a flat and working as cobblers.

Belgium’s Het Laatste Nieuws newspaper reported at the weekend that doctors at Brussels University Hospital in Jette “euthanised” the two men by lethal injection on December 14.

Under Belgian law, euthanasia is allowed if those wishing to end their lives are able to make their wishes clear and a doctor judges that they are suffering unbearable pain.

David Dufour, the doctor who presided over the euthanasia, said the twins had died together and had taken the decision in “full conscience”.

“They were very happy. It was a relief to see the end of their suffering,” he said. “They had a cup of coffee in the hall, it went well and a rich conversation. Then the separation from their parents and brother was very serene and beautiful. At the last there was a little wave of their hands and then they were gone.”

The case is unusual because neither of the men was terminally ill or suffering extreme physical pain.

Is this a step to far? The metaphoric slippery slope reached?

Is this the sort of thing that opponents of euthanasia will latch onto  as and example of the ways in which the law could be manipulated.

Or should people ultimately decide for themselves when and how to end their own lives without the state or others intervening and moralising over that decision?


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  • LesleyNZ

    Yep – the slippery slope alright. Whether or not they wanted to die, whoever gave them the injection murdered them. No difference to aborting an unborn baby with lethal injection – except the unborn baby has no say.

    • Bunswalla

      It’s a world of difference – as you very well know. Poor attempt at thread-jacking.

      • LesleyNZ

        No I don’t know – quite relevant IMO when we are talking about the value of human life.

        • Bunswalla

          We’re talking about euthanasia and the right of adults to make the decision about when and how they end their life.

          You’re trying to talk about this:

          • LesleyNZ

            We are also talking about whether euthanizing those who are deaf and blind who feel they can not live anymore is acceptable or going on the slippery slope. Euthanasia and abortion is an end to life on both ends of life’s spectrum. Not valuing the beginning of human life was the start of the slippery slope. Now with legal euthanasia of adult twins who have a disability they can’t cope with, we are travelling further down the slippery slope – to where? Will it just stop with this situation or will it become the norm where anyone with a disability is euthanized? Already in our public hospitals down syndrome babies are aborted at late term – and I heard about one that was born breathing for a short time. Never trust human nature.

    • Orange

      That’s how I see it too.

  • ConwayCaptain

    Why didnt they just commit suicide without getting any one else involved.

    • Random66

      I suppose this way they would have felt less fear as they would have trusted a medical professional to handle things right. I also believe they may have felt it was a more dignified way to leave their remaining loved ones.

  • Andrei

    Of course that childless old crone Maryann Street wants the law changed so that people can be put down.

    Because of people like her generations have now grown up who have not produced enough children to replace themselves and the chickens are about to come home to roost as the children of the self centered “love” generation reach retirement age overwhelming the health system and sucking the life out of the economy with super annuation entitlements.

    We need to slowly creep towards the idea that once the serfs are no longer economically useful they can be “put to sleep”, and like all left wing evils this will be sold to the unsuspecting public disguised as benevolence.

    • Mitch82

      You should go stand on the steps of Parliament and scream how this is a bill designed to put the ‘economically spent’ to sleep. I’ll call the media and let them know it’s happening.

      It’ll be fucking hilarious!

  • manuka416

    Yep, that’s just suicide in it’s normal context. Hard to understand how it was approved under euthanasia law.

    • JC

      Yep. I think its way beyond the Pale for the docs to be involved.


  • Travis Poulson

    Deaf and blind, I’d be keen to go too.Your life is meaningless.

    • LesleyNZ

      Tell that to Helen Keller. She was wonderful.

      • I bet no one ever asked her is she’d like to die. If I was in that situation I’d swallow a bullet a for sure.

        • Mitch82

          Completely agree. Most people are downright terrified of becoming a ‘vegetable’, this case is so damned close to that line that it makes no difference.

          • cows4me

            “Most people are downright terrified of becoming a vegetable”, not so sure about that Mitch, we still have the Liarbore party don’t we.

        • Bunswalla

          They did ask her. She never replied.

          • 4077th

            Reminds me of a joke…Why did her dog run away? You would too if your name was uuurrraaammmaaakeeeruuumaaaahhh

          • 4077th

            Billy T was the only person able to explain Euthanasia

          • Travis Poulson


        • LesleyNZ
      • Travis Poulson

        One would have to think she was a reasonably unique case.

      • Alex

        The difference, I would suggest, is that Helen Keller was born that way and knew no other reality. These guys are not in that position: they are losing the one sense that keeps them connected to the rest of the world and, more importantly for them, to each other. The adjustments they would need to make would be enormous. I couldn’t even fathom how difficult a fate this must be.

        But at the end of the day it is their choice. Personally, I think that they should revisit the choice after they have lost their sight, just in case they find that maybe things weren’t so bad after all. But then I’d suspect, as is often the case with people with degenerative conditions, they fear if they do this, they will have even less ability to undertake euthanasia and to resist the domineering do-gooders who seek to override their personal autonomy.

        • LesleyNZ

          For the record ” In 1882, she fell ill and was struck blind, deaf and mute.” Helen Keller was just about 2 years old.

          • Alex

            Yes I’m aware of that; but (as evident from her autobiography, her memories before 2 years’ of age (is is normal for most of us) were fleeting and hazy, and doubltessly supplemented by others’ recollections. The point still remains: 45 year olds who can see will have a harder time adjusting than Helen Keller did.

    • Bunswalla

      But Trav, what about the deaf, dumb AND blind kid? He sure played a mean pinball.

  • tarkwin

    I don’t want to play God with someones life. Next Maryann will want to get rid of those pesky old people who are nothing but a drain on the economy. Be careful what you wish for.

    • That’s a great idea…kinda of Logan’s Run…but with the age set a bit higher

      • Lofty

        Why would we murder our elders?

        • Economist

          Noone wants to murder anyone. But the welfare state isn’t going to last more than ten years, there won’t be any super or state houses or rest home subsidies. And of course thanks to Labour, Kiwis don’t save.

          So there is the choice: live in the gutter or euthanasia. Pretty clear which choice has honour & dignity.

      • tarkwin

        Would wipe out N.Z First over night.

    • Mitch82

      I don’t think she’s asking that you perform the euthanasia personally.

      • tarkwin

        I’d just tell them a boring story about when I was a young bloke. That would send anyone over the edge. Then again, I could make them watch a replay of the second test – that would make any sane person poke their own eyes out.

  • Brilliant, sanity at last, good on Belgum and lucky guys. Lets hope self-righteous authoritiarian ignorant bigots like Lesley have something happen to them that makes their lives an unbearable hell.

    I’m sure there would be a lot less mass murder & sexual abuse if those who are homocidal and/or sex offenders could choose to die peacefully and painlessly instead of hurting those around them. David Burton comes to mind.
    We need living wills here as well so people can make decisions in case they are severely disabled unexpectedly and not to be resuscitated or kept alive if they are disabled to a certain degree. Doctors are keeping people alive with extremely severe disabilities just to feed their egos. My ex and I had a pact that if we were ever in an accident and seriously disabled we would kill the other person – no matter what the consequences – that was love and respect in action. Yet ignorant bigots like Lesley think this is murder – YEAH RIGHT! I think she just enjoys watching people suffer.
    Also I believe those people so opposed to euthanasia are scared of dying because they know they’ll be going to fkn hell. How come we are so compassionate with the euthenasia of sick animals and so cruel and callous with humans.
    As for psychological/emotional pain being no comparison to physical pain – I can assure you living with emotional pain is just as debilitating as physical pain.
    So Conway what foolproof way of committing suicide is there that is painless and has the approval of your family, friends and society.

    • LesleyNZ

      Wow you can be real nasty JR Murphy. You have missed the point. The Whale asked if we had reached the slippery slope. We have reached it – we are already on the slippery slope when I read your comments. I have seen pain – many times.You are the ignorant one here JR Murphy.

    • “Love and respect in action”…he’s your ex? Right? How’d that love and respect thing go for you?

  • cows4me

    Went to a 21st Saturday night, quite a few seemed deaf and blind when I saw them. And I’m sure a few of them would be quite happy to be euthanised Sunday morning, ah to be young and stupid again.

    • 4077th

      Youth is wasted on the young!

    • Orange

      I would have to agree.

  • Orange

    Passive euthanasia is where there is removal of what is usually super heroic efforts to prolong the normal death process. This is a non-issue in legal debate and is situational one that doctors, patients, family deal with each year in NZ. Active euthanasia is not the prolonging of death but the active taking of life. I do not regard to many situations as ever justifying that. Indeed, people with mental illness need to understand that it is never a good decision to end your life. It hurts others too. One of the ten commandments is “Do not murder” and that includes yourself. You might even go through a patch so dark you pray he take it but it’s still God’s job, not yours.

    • Mitch82

      And if I don’t believe in God?

      • Orange

        Even the stoics and epicureans held to virtue or aretaic ethics. It’s a quite normal approach even in contemporary ethics committees. I think there would be more of a problem for theists holding a non-virtue ethic than a non-theist holding a virtue one.

      • Rodger T

        But god believes in you Mitch…………….he,he.

        • Mitch82

          That’s the problem. The only way I see to get it through a bible thumper’s head is to enquire how they’d feel about a group of Scientologists making ethical decisions that dictate what they can and cannot do.

          • Orange

            You’re such a hypocrite.

          • Mitch82

            Haha.. how’s that, Orange?

    • Rodger T

      Which god in particular ?

  • Saccharomyces

    Well I think that people should be able to decide for themselves when and how to end their own lives, as stated above, “without the state or others intervening and moralising over that decision”.

    There are options that mean that people can complete the process themselves in a peaceful, non traumatic manner, as appropiate for an exit with dignity, removing the argument that the administrator is a murderer.

    Of course that still leaves the catch-22 discussion of mental fitness i.e. you should not be permitted to commit suicide if you are mentally unfit, but can you be mentally fit if you are contemplating suicide?

    Personally, having seen the effects of suicide upon a family (including finding the deceased myself), I think that the topic needs discussion.

    Most of us on the right believe in personal responsibility, and the liberty to lead ones life in the way one deems fit. I think that the right of ending one’s own life is a natural extension of this ethos.

  • Sym Gardiner

    If you are deaf you can get a Cochlear Implant and hear. If you are blind, the europeans and aussies are testing eye implants. In the UK they did 12 eye implants through the NHS.

  • ConwayCaptain

    According to the Daily Telegraph they had other un named medical conditions.

  • BR

    This is like the homo “marriage” debate.

    There would be no campaign for homo “marriage” without first legalizing buggery.

    There would be few people who do not believe that euthanasia happens unofficially in extreme cases.

    The difference here is that a nasty leftist politician wants euthanasia to be state sanctioned.

    None of those who supported legalizing buggery at the time would ever have opined that it would eventually lead to homo “marriage”.

    Has the odious Labour politician Maryan Street offered any opinion as to what state sanctioned euthanasia could eventually lead to?

    Think about it.


  • Waka2

    This is tragically sad. Who decides which affliction qualifies you for euthanasia?