Belgian twins euthanized out of fear of blindness, what may be next in Belgium

By Alex Schadenberg, executive director
Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

twins975To preface my blog article about the recent articles concerning the practice of euthanasia in Belgium, one needs to acknowledge that the Quebec government is considering legalizing Belgian style euthanasia through the back-door.

The Daily Mail newspaper in the UK published an article today that that was written by James Rush and Damien Gayle and titled: Deaf twins who discovered that they were going blind are euthanized in Belgium hospital.

“On December 14, 2012, identical twin brothers who were born deaf died by euthanasia at the Belgium University Hospital in Jette, even though they were not sick, they were not yet blind, and they had lived a productive life together. They died by lethal injection.”

The article states:

“Euthanasia is legal under Belgian law if those making the decision can make their wishes clear and are suffering unbearable pain, according to a doctor’s judgment. …

“But this case was unusual as neither twin was suffering extreme physical pain or was terminally ill.

“The two brothers, who have not been named but were pictured on Belgian television, both worked as cobblers and shared a flat together, The Telegraph has reported.”

The article in the Daily Mail also reported that the 45 year old twins died by euthanasia only days before the ruling socialist government announced plans to expand the Belgian euthanasia law to include children with disabilities and people with dementia or Alzheimer’s. The article stated:

Just days after the twins were killed Belgium’s ruling Socialists tabled a legal amendment which would allow the euthanasia of children and Alzheimer’s sufferers. …

It is clear, that what is occurring in Belgium is the logical extension to legalizing euthanasia. If it is acceptable to kill one group of people in society by euthanasia then it will soon become acceptable to kill other groups of people in society by euthanasia.

These men were not suffering, they were not sick but they were deemed to be “better off dead.”

To learn more about the practice of euthanasia in Belgium, it is helpful to read the recent article by Peter Saunders, the campaign director for the Care NOT Killing Alliance in the UK analyses experience of euthanasia in Belgium over the past 10 years.

You should also read an interesting article by American bioethicist, Wesley Smith, entitled Belgium euthanasia: Off the Moral Cliff.

Alex Schadenberg wrote an interesting article in 2011 concerning the euthanasia trends in Belgium that was titled: Euthanasia is out-of-control in Belgium.

The Daily Mail article concludes by stating that in 2011 there were 1133 reported cases of euthanasia in Belgium.

It is important to note that in Belgium studies indicate that up to 47% of all euthanasia deaths go unreported.

Editor’s note. This appeared on Alex’s fine blog.