Twins Euthanized: Possible in the US?

http://news.yahoo.com/deaf-twins-going-blind-euthanized-165500992--abc-news-topstories.html

Wow. I just saw this story on Yahoo, and couldn’t reconcile it with the poli/religious climate in the US. What would happen if these guys were Americans, not Belgians?

Assisted suicide is legal in Oregon, Washington and Montana, although as a practical matter it can sometimes be difficult to procure euthanasia services.

They would have shot each other with AR-15s, of course.

But all 3 US states require the person have a terminal illness, which was not the case here. There’s no reason to think these guys couldn’t have lived another 40 years.

All right, that made me laugh.

As to the OP, it’s hard to see that happening in America. We’re all about forcing people to live so that our sense of propriety is maintained.

I could see suicide tourism being popular for Americans to GO to Brussels, but yeah, the US isn’t keen on people having control of their lives.

Sal Ammoniac:

Taomist:

Seriously? American respect for life is to be seen as a bad thing?

Would you really want to put the power to kill in the hands of a person whose motives might be his own convenience and/or profit rather than concern for the subject?

Like universal healthcare, this is an issue where the EU is way ahead of us stupid Americans.

Which would have prolonged their agony far beyond reason. It’s stupid to insist that euthanasia should apply to terminal illness only. :mad:

Deaf AND blind is an unlivable situation, in my opinion. Others may feel differently, and be willing to live out their crippled lives naturally, but if I ever lost one of my major senses or use of my extremities, I would kill myself or beg God to kill me painlessly. (And I’m an atheist!)

What agony? None of the articles I can find say anything about them being in pain.

Huh? We’re talking about something that’s as remote from this scenario as it’s possible to imagine.

And why does “respect for life” mean forcing them to live when they don’t want to?

Well, it does. I wish we had more respect for people, and a little less for “life”.

Sal Ammoniac:

Because just because someone doesn’t want to live at a given moment doesn’t mean his mind won’t change in the future. But once the act is completed, there’s no reversing it.

And I don’t think it’s remote to think that if assisting suicide were allowed, someone might convince another who is contemplating suicide to go ahead with it, even when the subject himself, left to his own devices, might have come to decide against it. It’s not a decision that anyone should feel safe giving other people influence over.

Born deaf, now middle aged, AND eventually going blind?

Yeah, I won’t be judging here. Thats one hell of a hurtle to jump. And one hell of a fate to suffer even if you jump the hurtle.

Damn, got something in my eye. Just hope they had a good life while it lasted.

May I point out that they were not euthanized, they committed assisted suicide. They asked for it, it was not done to them.

And why not? If I get the double familial whammy of both parkinsons and alzheimers, I fully intend to off myself. Hell, if I end up with alzheimers I intend to off myself. Why should I cost someone else hundreds of thousands of dollars to warehouse if I am non compos mentis? What possible purpose would there be in keeping a shaking husk with no mind in a bed somewhere?

These brothers decided that their quality of life would tank with no vision and no hearing. Might I point out that as deaf men, they rely on their VISION to ‘talk’ - no vision, silence and darkness. What can they do, fill their days with sitting there on a sofa holding hands? They do not want to do that, which is fine with me, that is their choice.

That seems incredibly myopic. You can’t conceive of a situation where you’re not in pain but living is unbearable? I think losing 2 of your major senses qualifies. I do not begrudge their decision to end it all, in fact I would totally support it. Keeping them alive against their will is forcing them to suffer

So what if there’s no reversing it? Death also makes sure that they will never regret it

Again, the one who dies would not live to regret it. Meanwhile many who are suffering are left to suffer simply because a few people may change their minds. In fact, I don’t care if its a few people, it could be a lot of people. Maybe half the people who ever committed suicide would regret it if given the chance to replay that. It still doesn’t mean that those who want to end it all at that moment is wrong. We don’t tell people that they can’t exercise a right at the moment because they may regret it later. Life is about making correct decisions, and if the decision is irreversible, that simply makes it easier to remove regret and possible changes of mind from the equation

The power in this case was in the hands of the subjects themselves, was it not?

And as for profit, I reckon there’s far more of it in the disability-care industry than in assisted suicide.

Maybe. But who can say? You want to force them to keep living, against their will, on and on, because of the possibility they might change their mind?

What gives you the right?

Indeed. So mind your own damn business.

I support assisted suicide BECAUSE it’s irreversible. Look at how many people decide to fling themselves off of a building, stick a gun to their head, or swallow a bunch of pills only to flub the whole thing and end up in much worse shape. At least with assisted suicide, people who really want to kill themselves don’t end up in an awful limbo state that over-burdens family and society.

And if they regret it? That’s between them and their maker. I don’t know why a person who has made up their mind has to suffer just because of someone else’s second-thoughts.

As someone who is a great admirer of Helen Keller, and has therefore followed the lives of the deaf-blind with interest, I can tell you that there are plenty of deaf-blind who live full, interesting lives, who can communicate and experience the world through touch. I’ve attended several functions where there were a number of deaf-blind in attendance, and while unfortunately I didn’t have the skills to communicate with them, I could see that they were having a good time and clearly enjoyed talking with each other and others who did have the skills.

This week, an Israeli deaf-blind theater troupe will be in New York to perform. I just can’t see any way that being deaf and blind should be considered debilitating enough to require euthanasia.

I don’t think those guys frankly cared what anyone else think or “see” about how they should be spending the rest of their lives.

Maybe they weren’t as smart as Helen Keller. Maybe singing and dancing in a blind-death troupe just wasn’t their thing. Maybe it’s different going through life knowing what you’re missing, as compared to having been born without knowing. I don’t know, and neither do you.

I’m sure somewhere out there, there’s someone who’s lying in a hospital bed on life-support, locked within their atrophied body, who simply LOVES life and is full of hope and vigor, despite it all. But most of us don’t think we could live like this. Perhaps we have even gone through the legal steps to prevent it from happening. Are we wrong for being so short-sighted? Or is Mr. Happy to be Alive’s situation totally independent of ours, and thus worthy of being evaluated separately?

From the article:

Where is the self-determination for people who are not in their right mind or children, whose parents can make this decision for them.

There was no quote from these brothers showing that they knew and understood what was happening to them. It’s assumed that this is something they requested, but what if the family and doctors decided this was in the best interest of everyone concerned? I can just see it - “Boys, we’re going to the doctor today to get a little shot.”

Slippery slope as far as I’m concerned.

StG