In other notes on Europe today, the Germans have now invented a working laser weapon system that sound very promising, and British and European Courts have started to more frequently deny U.S. Criminal Extradition Requests.Deaf Belgian twins, 45, win right to die after losing sight
Identical Belgian twin brothers, born deaf, becoming blind and unable to bear not being able to see and hear each other, had their wish to die granted in a case testing the boundaries of legal euthanasia.
Doctors gave the 45-year-old twins lethal injections after they had had a cup of coffee together and said goodbye to each other, a spokesman at the UZ Brussel hospital said on Monday.
"It's not simply that they were deaf and blind that they were granted the right to euthanasia. It is that they could no longer bear being unable to hear or see the other," he said.
Belgium is one of few countries where euthanasia is legal.
A patient must be an adult, capable of making a judgment, and the wish to die must be voluntary, overwhelming and repeated. The patient must also be suffering persistent and unbearable mental or physical pain beyond medical help.
In addition, the condition must be serious and incurable, and have been brought on by illness or injury.
"Unbearable suffering can be mental as well as physical," the hospital spokesman said. "The brothers were inseparable. They lived together and had the same job."
He said the brothers died on December 14 and that their family supported their wishes.
Belgium legalized euthanasia in 2002 and the number of cases has risen every year since. In 2011, 1,133 were granted the right to die, of which 86 percent were at least 60 years old and 72 percent suffering from cancer.
The Netherlands and Luxembourg have both decriminalized euthanasia. Switzerland allows assisted suicide if the person concerned takes an active role.
"How to Die in Oregon" is a great documentary about assisted suicide. It is extremely hard to watch though.
Never really have debated the topic, so not sure what the argument against the right to die is. Anyone?
As I recall some of the arguments against here in Oregon were primarily religious and moral. Some also felt there would be abuse of the system, as in people being euthanized without consent.
Although legal in OR, it is not a widespread practice, most people choose to live to the bitter end or simply have life support means withdrawn.
I'll take your word for it, I'm a little slow on the uptake lately.
Was a big fan of Star Trek in the day. photon amplification by stimulated emission of radiation seems way better then light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation any day of the week.
Always wanted a phaser for personal protection, only with a limited capacity energy magazines of course
Ironic considering the same group also suports the death penalty and pro-war policies.
Interesting, although the link does not describe exactly what type of laser is used, and I would like to also hear more about there superimposing technology.
Must admit that I am happy and proud the US Is far ahead of these guy's with teh Boeing YAL-1 Airborne Laser, this operates as a COIL Laser and has been tested successfully to shoot down missiles.
Sadly the US program a been mothballed.
Only people who are mentally competent should be allowed to make the decision to end their life.
Anyone who wants to end their life is mentally incompetent.
Therefore, no one is eligible to make the decision to end their life.
I don't buy that argument wholesale, but I do suspect there is some subset of people who would like to kill themselves, that in their current mental state cannot fully understand the ramifications of that decision. Those people should probably be prohibited from doing so. I could also be persuaded that those wishing to die should have to administer the injection themselves. At least in cases where it's possible for them to do so.
Also it's interesting to note that in the case cited there was no physical pain involved. Their quality of life was diminished to the point they wished to die due to the isolation they felt being deaf and blind. Could someone else (say an avid outdoorsman, hiker, hunter, etc) who is a paraplegic make the case that the restrictions they are now subject are enough they ought be allowed end their life?
If we had their healthcare systems, I would want broader right to die rights here as well.
Here's the problem. If you have dementia, you are not mentally competent to ask to be terminated. You are doomed. You can have a "do not resusciate" document but not a "kill me" document. Too easy to create violations.
Way out: if you THINK you are headed downhill, do a Junior Seau and pre-empt the decline.
If someone wants to kill themselves - fine. Gun is easy. No gun? Take 40 sleepng pills. Just don't step in front of a car or train. Why give someone else guilt.