Marc and Eddy Verbessem
Identical Belgian twin brothers, born deaf, becoming blind and unable to bear not being able to see and hear each other, had their wish to die granted in a case testing the boundaries of legal euthanasia.
Doctors gave the 45-year-old twins lethal injections after they had had a cup of coffee together and said goodbye to each other, a spokesman at the UZ Brussel hospital said on Monday.
“It’s not simply that they were deaf and blind that they were granted the right to euthanasia. It is that they could no longer bear being unable to hear or see the other,” he said.
Belgium is one of few countries where euthanasia is legal.
A patient must be an adult, capable of making a judgment, and the wish to die must be voluntary, overwhelming and repeated. The patient must also be suffering persistent and unbearable mental or physical pain beyond medical help.
In addition, the condition must be serious and incurable, and have been brought on by illness or injury.
“Unbearable suffering can be mental as well as physical,” the hospital spokesman said. “The brothers were inseparable. They lived together and had the same job.”
Belgium legalized euthanasia in 2002 and the number of cases has risen every year since…The Netherlands and Luxembourg have both decriminalized euthanasia. Switzerland allows assisted suicide if the person concerned takes an active role.
Sensible, compassionate system of law, allowing individuals an informed choice of life or death. Light-years ahead of nations still relying on papier mache morality writ into a book in the 14th Century.
Uploaded by sloanchurman on Sep 26, 2011
I was born deaf and 8 weeks ago I received a hearing implant. This is the video of them turning it on and me hearing myself for the first time :)
Her notes on the experience are here at her blog.
Overwhelmed by joy.
Research by a University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) professor shows an association between hearing loss and the use of the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra.
Findings…indicate a potential for long-term hearing loss following use of Viagra, and possibly following use of other phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (PDE-5i) drugs such as Cialis and Levitra, although results on those drugs are inconclusive.
“It appears from these findings that the current government warning regarding hearing loss and the use of PDE-5i medications is warranted,” said study author Gerald McGwin, Ph.D., a professor of epidemiology in the UAB School of Public Health. “Though there are limitations to this study, it is prudent that patients using these medications be warned about the signs and symptoms of hearing impairment and be encouraged to seek immediate medical attention to potentially forestall permanent damage…”
What did he say?