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Old 18 January 2013, 07:40 PM
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Icon06 Deaf Twins Going Blind Euthanized

Two deaf twin brothers in Belgium were euthanized by their doctor after realizing they were going blind and would be unable to see each other ever again, their physician says.

The 45-year-old men, whose names have not been made public, were legally put to death by lethal injection at the Brussels University Hospital in Jette.

http://news.yahoo.com/deaf-twins-goi...opstories.html
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Old 18 January 2013, 08:02 PM
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I am from Belgium, and a close family member often talks about having herself euthanized. She has a history of depression, but other than that she is healthy. I hope that there is some kind of screening or evaluation that would be part of the process because I think there are other alternatives she could try, but she seems very set on it. I hope she is making the best choice for herself, but I worry that because of her illness she might not see another option. All I hear is news articles that make it to the US, like the lowering of the age limit to 14? I think, but most of what I know about the process comes from potentially trumped up headlines.
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Old 18 January 2013, 08:05 PM
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Couldn't you do some research and find out?
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Old 18 January 2013, 08:10 PM
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Well, from what I can read, it is 'rare' for non-terminal patients to be approved. But I don't know what those rare cases consist of. I read dutch, but not to the level of being able to decipher the legalese of the law itself.
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Old 18 January 2013, 10:01 PM
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I am torn about this case. On the one hand it is easy to say that non-terminal patients shouldn't be allowed euthanasia, but on the other hand this is kind of an unusual circumstance. This isn't euthanasia of someone who is depressed or has a transitory condition that will get better. These two are facing a lifetime of being basically trapped inside bodies with little input from the outside world, and little ability to communicate.

Now, before people point out other people who have lived their lives deaf and blind (whether Helen Keller or your uncle) and been perfectly happy, that is also true of terminal patients. Some want every day they can get, and for others it is too much.
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Old 19 January 2013, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geminilee View Post
Now, before people point out other people who have lived their lives deaf and blind (whether Helen Keller or your uncle) and been perfectly happy, that is also true of terminal patients. Some want every day they can get, and for others it is too much.
There's also a very large difference between never having access to something (be it sight, sound, or even something as life-changing as clean water), and learning to live one's whole life without it vs. to have it for the majority of one's life and suddenly be without it.
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Old 19 January 2013, 04:51 PM
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I understand that depression is usually treatable and that, once it's treated, the patient usually doesn't want to commit suicide anymore. But if a person has been treated and still doesn't want to live...well, I know this isn't a popular opinion, but quite honestly, I think it's both selfish and presumptuous to tell them they don't get to make that decision. Yes, it hurts to lose someone you love. But you know what? They're probably in constant pain, whether physical or psychic, and it's cruel to keep them trapped that way to spare your own feelings.
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Old 19 January 2013, 09:34 PM
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Personally I see it as any other discussion about self determination. It's my body and as long as I don't endanger someone else and I'm mentally able to make decisions, I should do with it what I want. Including killing it. And I would rather have people assisting to make it as quick and painless as possible versus having someone try to commit suicide, botch it and be in a much worse position.
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Old 19 January 2013, 10:03 PM
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I'm going to tread very carefully here, and I apologize if I need to suddenly duck out of this thread if it becomes too difficult.

First, I have to say that I am pro-euthanasia. I think that kids in Asia should have the same rights as - I'm sorry, that was a terrible joke*. As I was saying, I am pro-euthanasia. If one has a terminal illness or is in extreme pain or suffering, then that option should absolutely be available and legal for them.

But first, treatment must be made available. Euthanasia should only be a dead-last (no pun intended**) resort.

Because suicide has a lasting impact on the survivors.

I'm sure that my father felt his reasons for choosing suicide were damn good ones. I'm sure that he felt he had no other options. Maybe he felt that those around him would be better off or that it wouldn't make a difference, but it did. And once the choice is made, it's done - he isn't the one having to live with the consequences of that choice. We are. And it sucks.

*Which really only works when spoken out loud, anyway.

**Okay, maybe a little. This is hard for me.***

***That's what she said.
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Old 21 January 2013, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swordmaster View Post

But first, treatment must be made available. Euthanasia should only be a dead-last (no pun intended**) resort.

Because suicide has a lasting impact on the survivors.

I'm sure that my father felt his reasons for choosing suicide were damn good ones. I'm sure that he felt he had no other options. Maybe he felt that those around him would be better off or that it wouldn't make a difference, but it did. And once the choice is made, it's done - he isn't the one having to live with the consequences of that choice. We are. And it sucks.

.
And that's the way I feel about this issue. I also think that if the patient suddenly changes his mind, then euthanasia as an option is off the table. I'm not sure about psych conditions though--I haven't really thought about that.

Swordmaster, I am very sorry for your loss. (serious hugs)

Geminilee put it best as well: some people can live with multiple handicaps, others cannot.

What kinds of strange disease did these twins have anyway?
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  #11  
Old 21 January 2013, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
In a frank and personal documentary, author Sir Terry Pratchett considers how he might choose to end his life.
Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2008, Terry wants to know whether he might be able to end his life before his disease takes over.
http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/terry...oosing-to-die/

This is a fairly long documentary and is really thought-provoking on this subject. My late husband had ALS and spoke several times about wishing he had been able to take his life and regretting that when he really wanted to do so, he was no longer able, physically, and he knew that I could not nor could any physician in Canada help. I have no objections to people being able to access what they feel they need after careful consideration, but as the survivor or the person left behind, I would have really mixed feelings. When my husband did die, I still felt it was too soon (selfish, I know) and, yet, not soon enough for his sake.
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Old 22 January 2013, 03:03 AM
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Quite likely they had Usher syndrome. Born deaf and later in life lose vision due to RP (Retinitis pigmentosa). That's the most common. There may be others but off the top of my head I can't think of any. Maybe Congenital Rubella Syndrome (if so I'm in trouble lol), or effects of mumps.
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Old 22 January 2013, 10:17 AM
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I had the same thought as Ducky. I've worked with several people with Ushers. The degree of hearing loss and the degree of vision loss varies.
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Old 23 January 2013, 05:27 PM
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This story really affected me, I actually have wet eyes reading it.

It's selfish, I think, but the reason is that they were twins, and I'm one of a set of twins. I can't help but associate more with something like me, egotist that I am.

I understand these men, and the horror of knowing they couldn't see each other any more, and the decision to die together. However, if it was me and my sister, I think maybe we'd try to connect by any senses we'd have left to us, though I'm not sure. As long as we'd know we were still together. The biggest horror for me is the thought of us not dying together. I'm fairly certain if my twin were to die, I would too. I'd not kill myself, I just think I would die. It'd be too big a loss. If I didn't, though, perhaps I'd go on living knowing that my twin is part of me still, and by living so is she, but I also suspect I'd go mad. It's a thought to terrifying to consider, let alone live through.
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