Identical twin brothers. 45 years old. Both deaf since birth.
After being told they would go blind within a few years, Marc and Eddy Verbessem – who had spent their whole lives living and working together – told doctors they couldn’t bear the thought of not being able to see each other.
If they couldn’t communicate with one another, they didn’t want to live.
The brothers lived in Belgium, one of the very few countries where euthanasia – the act of intentionally ending the life of someone suffering a terminal or incurable illness – is legal for adults.
Normally, Belgian law only permits euthanasia where the patient is suffering unbearable pain or terminal illness. But doctors reportedly agreed to pursuing the euthanasia option in this case on the grounds of “intolerable suffering” and the fact the twins had taken the decision to die in “full conscience”.
Doctors at Brussels University Hospital in Jette “euthanised” the two men by lethal injection on 14 December last year.