Deaf twins have been euthanized in Belgium last month, reports are confirming this week.
The twins were born deaf, but had always overcome their challenges together - they were said to be inseparable. However, last year, at the age of 45 they were given the news that they had a condition that would mean they would gradually and quickly go blind as well.
The news was devastating to the twins, who, it has been reported, just could not envisage life not being able to see each other again.
Marc and Eddy Verbessem are said to have spent their entire lives together, living and working with one another, and they both never married.
The condition the twins had was said to be incurable, and it would rob them of being able to see one another, and potentially leave them unable to communicate. The distress between the pair at the news was said to be heartbreaking.
"Physically, their conditions were strongly deteriorating," Dr. David Dufour, a doctor treating the brothers, told VTM News.
He reported that after going to court and being granted the opportunity to be euthanized, "a weight fell off their shoulders. They were happy and relieved that a date was set to end their suffering."
The brothers ended their lives on Dec. 14, surrounded by family. According to Belgian TV station RTL, they received lethal injections.
"They had a cup of coffee in the hall. It went well and [was] a rich conversation. Then the separation from their parents and brother was very serene and beautiful," Dr. Dufour told RTL. "At the last, there was a little wave of their hands and then they were gone."
Belgium is only one of two countries in the world to legalize euthanasia.
Nearly 1,1,33 cases of euthanasia were recorded in 2011 alone, according to the Ottawa Citizen.
"There is a law, but that is clearly open to various interpretations. If any blind or deaf are allowed to euthanize, we are far from home. I do not think this was what the legislation meant by 'unbearable suffering',” doctors in Belgium have said, according to The Telegraph.
The brother of twins, Dirk Verbassem told The Telegraph: "Many will wonder why my brothers have opted for euthanasia because there are plenty of deaf and blind that have a 'normal' life. But my brothers trudged from one disease to another. They were really worn out."