Belgium Euthanizes Deaf Twins Going Blind - page 4

by Esme12 Asst. Admin

7,332 Views | 47 Comments

I am for the right to die......however, they weren't terminal, I am not sure how I feel about this....thoughts?... Read More


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    I have had the opportunity to talk to a few people on this issue who are from Belgium. They informed me that they institutionalize disabled adults. They are not "handicap accessible" like the US nor do they have the resources to adapt. I can see how these gentlemen would not want to live in a facility for 30, 40 or even 50 years. That is just what I have been told. In respect to children, I don't think we give them enough credit. I have taken care of a handful of children who knew they were dying. They understood what it meant to die and they were at peace with it. I've even heard one child beg for God to take them because they were suffering for so long. The dying process can be long and full of awful symptoms. These cases I think it is ethical to offer all humans a peaceful death. Often times a patient just wants to be in control of SOMETHING when they have lost control of everything else in their life. Let them choose. In other cases when a patient does not have the capacity, let a judge decide... like in the case mentioned in the article.
    MandaRN94 and elkpark like this.
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    Belgium does not "institutionalize" disabled adults. There are facilities available for the disabled, but they are not required to use them, they can instead take the funding that would have paid for their stay in a facility, and instead "cash out" in the form of publicly provided Personal Assistant Budget, which they can then use to pay for help in their own home, or however else they want to establish support for themselves.
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    I wasn't able to find much on the support system there via Google. I did see where they are "behind on the times" as far as the services that are available to the disabled. It would be incredibly challenging to take care of 2 blind and deaf adults and maybe they feared they would be placed in a facility? I will not judge them for making this decision. If it were me, I might choose the same fate.
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    Regardless of how I feel on the issue, I think the most important part of this article is that it was the patient's choice. They have the right to access care, and to refuse it. I think, I would have loved to support them in their decision. It reminds me a lot of the abortion/pregnancy debate.
    OCNRN63, elkpark, and MandaRN94 like this.
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    Quote from Nurseamanda00
    I wasn't able to find much on the support system there via Google. I did see where they are "behind on the times" as far as the services that are available to the disabled. It would be incredibly challenging to take care of 2 blind and deaf adults and maybe they feared they would be placed in a facility? I will not judge them for making this decision. If it were me, I might choose the same fate.
    I agree about not judging the two twins. I wonder, however, if counseling and maybe some mental health support were at least offered to these people. That would be really sad if that had been the case but I don't know the whole story. I would just think that if someone was diagnosed with a very difficult maybe emotionally painful disability, they should be offered lots of support to deal with it. Why should a early death be necessary when with proper assistance and care they might be able to live another fulfilling 40 years or however long. Who knows though, maybe they were offered assistance and counseling or antidepressants but it wasn't what they wanted.I just can't help but compare the situation to someone who has gone through something emotionally painful, traumatizing etc and is depressed and wants to commit suicide. I'm sure if you phrase out that way, no healthcare professional would help that person to commit suicide instead of trying to prevent the suicide. I understand there's a communication with the world issue, but isn't there some way to help that? Would the same techniques that helen keller had used to communicate be available to people in belgium? Sure it sounds awful and incredibly difficult for all those involved in these people's lives but why wasn't there a better way?
    JeanettePNP likes this.
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    Has anyone ever read The Giver?
    JeanettePNP likes this.
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    I think it is actually a very nice story, a happy ending. Not many of us get to chose the time, place and circumstances of our own deaths, dying alongside our lifelong best friend so that neither ever has to grieve or be alone. It is really beautiful when you think about it. None if us is guaranteed 80 healthy years. Death comes to us all, and this seems pretty good way to go. I don't see a tragedy here.
    WoosahRN, OCNRN63, Sam J., and 1 other like this.
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    Quote from BlueDevil,DNP
    I think it is actually a very nice story, a happy ending. Not many of us get to chose the time, place and circumstances of our own deaths, dying alongside our lifelong best friend so that neither ever has to grieve or be alone. It is really beautiful when you think about it. None if us is guaranteed 80 healthy years. Death comes to us all, and this seems pretty good way to go. I don't see a tragedy here.
    I was thinking of the part where they euthanize babies who don't fit the standards of perfection, or are deemed to be not useful to their society.
    JeanettePNP likes this.
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    Quote from Jujubees
    I agree about not judging the two twins. I wonder, however, if counseling and maybe some mental health support were at least offered to these people. That would be really sad if that had been the case but I don't know the whole story. I would just think that if someone was diagnosed with a very difficult maybe emotionally painful disability, they should be offered lots of support to deal with it. Why should a early death be necessary when with proper assistance and care they might be able to live another fulfilling 40 years or however long. Who knows though, maybe they were offered assistance and counseling or antidepressants but it wasn't what they wanted.I just can't help but compare the situation to someone who has gone through something emotionally painful, traumatizing etc and is depressed and wants to commit suicide. I'm sure if you phrase out that way, no healthcare professional would help that person to commit suicide instead of trying to prevent the suicide. I understand there's a communication with the world issue, but isn't there some way to help that? Would the same techniques that helen keller had used to communicate be available to people in belgium? Sure it sounds awful and incredibly difficult for all those involved in these people's lives but why wasn't there a better way?
    But it was THEIR choice. What is quality of life to one, isn't the same to another. Who are you to say that they would have had a fulfilling life? I don't see this as a suicide. Suicide, to me is a decision made when someone is in emotional turmoil, who feels that hopelessness and despair and thinks that dying will be the only away to end the pain.

    It doesn't seem like these twins were in that type of turmoil. They wanted to die with dignity. What is wrong with that? Why is it so hard? Why is it so hard to understand that someone, who was mentally cognizant, has made the decision to die on their terms, with dignity, love and support.

    Yes, I think counseling is a good thing prior to a decision much like this. Just like intensive therapy sessions are required for those that want a gender reassignment, or like counseling prior to bariatric surgery is required.

    It is stories like this, when compared to the outrage over the so-called death panels, where in fact it was just an effort to bring end of life care and palliative care discussions to the table, and the cases of Jahi and the Munoz family, that makes me think that we, as Americans, are not as evolved as we think we are.
    suga_junkie, OCNRN63, elkpark, and 2 others like this.
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    Quote from anon456
    I was thinking of the part where they euthanize babies who don't fit the standards of perfection, or are deemed to be not useful to their society.
    Is that what this story is about? I missed that part.
    Preferably unwanted babies would be dealth with before they are born, but I think the board can only handle one 2,000 page thread at a time, lol. ;-)
    anon456 and OCNRN63 like this.


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