Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Belgium Grants Deaf and Blind Twins the Right to Die

Medical CaduceusIn Belgium, a set of 45-year-old identical twin brothers were granted their right to die through euthanasia. Belgium is one of only two countries that allow legal euthanasia. Doctors from a Brussels' hospital provided the lethal injection to the twins after they said their good-byes to one another. In Belgium, a person has the right to a legal euthanasia if the following circumstances are met:

  • The patient must be an adult
  • He or she must be capable of making a judgment
  • His or her decision must be overwhelmingly voluntary, usually granted when the request is made repeatedly
  • "The patient must also be suffering persistent and unbearable mental or physical pain beyond medical help."
  • Finally, the patient must be suffering from an incurable injury or illness. 

The brothers passed away this past year on December 14, 2012. Since its decriminalization, the number of cases of people seeking an euthanasia has increased every year. The most common patients that seek euthanasia are those above the age of 60 and/or suffering from cancer.

See Deaf Belgian Twins, 45, Win Right To Die After Losing Sight, FoxNews.com, Jan. 14, 2013.


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