Twin Brothers Put to Death

The slippery slope of euthanasia. A shocking case.

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Comments (52)

(30) Anonymous, January 27, 2013 10:35 PM

Alot of people say that if something tragic happens to them such as an accident or illness which causes thier lives to become more difficult -they do not want to live.Most people feel as though they will be a burden and do not want to feel as though they are a burden to others. I think we as a society need to re-evaluate how we treat each other.We need to get back to the days of lovingly caring for our aging parents and sick family members.My grandmother lived with us until she died and my Auntie who was born with an illness that caused her to be "forever a child' lived with us until she died too.In fact I shared a room with both.I was taught to respect and love my family members.I admit I sometimes was upset when friends came over and I hadn't any privacy because I shared rooms with my elders - but I got over that fast. I feel sad to hear that those 2 relative young twins felt that euthanisia was thier only way.Where was thier loving support system?

(29) dale331, January 26, 2013 8:14 PM

Can G-d act thru me?

This reminds me of the story, I might have even heard here, in which G-d sends a flood. Before the flood the police ride around announcing evacuation. This one guy says G-d will protect me. The flood happens and a boat comes to get the guy who says G-d will save him. Flood gets worse and man is on roof. Helicopter comes and guy says God will save him. Flood gets worse and guy drowns. In heaven guy sees G-d and asks why G-d didn't save him. G-d says He sent the police, a boat and a helicopter. One thing that says is G-d works thru people. How am I to know whether illness, a drunk driver, or my hand with a knife is not G-d working thru those three saying now is the time? We just read of Pharaoh committing suicide because G-d hardened his heart. Yea, I know that was to bring G-d glory but how would I know my death at my hand is not for some glory of G-d that I don't understand. Just something to think about. NO, I'm not contemplating suicide.

Avraham Turetsky, January 31, 2013 5:55 AM

that's what the Snake said to Eve

Anticipating, or trying to figure out G-d's unspoken plan is not our job. Our job is to do what G-d said He wants us to do, as specified in the Torah. That's the plain meaning of "You shall be wholehearted with the L-rd, Your G-d". The deceptively attractive but fallacious idea that G-d speaks through our desires and therefore we need to fulfill them was exactly the Snake's argument to Eve (Rabbi Fohrman elucidates this beautifully in his book "The Beast That Crouches at the Door"). So no need for the "how do I know"s.

(28) Anonymous, January 26, 2013 4:29 PM

Slipping down the slope

I forgot to mention in my earlier comment, that the idea that "being deaf was a tragedy" was very unfortunate for it was offensive to many people. It could be seen as a 1st step to accepting euthanasia. However, I see it as a poor attempt to make a statement about what the twins were thinking in their decision. He did hold up Helen Keller as a "hero", as an example or better alternative for the twins, and for others who seem very distressed at things that seemingly are minor compared to the tragedy of ending a life. The rabbi did acknowledge that he was not in a position to understand what fear, dread, or "suffering' that was going on in the mind of the twins. If things appear to be hopeless, you want to be much further down the "road of hopelessness' before it becomes seemingly unbearable & one decides on an alternative that can't be undone.

(27) Anonymous, January 26, 2013 3:25 PM

God determines

That is complicated when one believes that God is speaking to them or that God speaks through them to do things, such as end their own life or help others to end their great suffering & unbearable torment by not assisting them to continue to live. God can act through people? We can carry out God's will in so many ways, so are some ways to be disallowed because others, usually "outsiders", think or believe perhaps differently?

(26) Anonymous, January 25, 2013 4:57 AM

If the life is not considered a life by Torah it should be ok th end

Some people get sick and can't move or talk and are fed through a tube and in pain all the time. The rabbis state this is not a life worth living. Halachically the way to end it is by stoping treatment of an infection.

(25) Anonymous, January 24, 2013 7:17 PM

why is being born deaf a tragedy?

As the parent of a child who was born deaf, I am deeply troubled by Rabbi Salomon's comment that being born deaf is a tragedy. My husband and I love our 5 year old son no less than we would if he weren't born deaf. He doesn't know what the word even means. He has added so much to our lives. He speaks rather clearly and does not sign at all. He attends preschool at a local Yeshiva where he is enthusiastic about learning his ABC's as well as Aleph Bais. He has been called upon to lead davening numerous times and enjoys singing. I hope Rabbi Salamon reads this and issues an apology for his comment. I am also troubled that Aish allowed such a comment to be in a video posted on their website. The only tragedy is that anyone thinks being born deaf is a tragedy.

Barbara, January 26, 2013 2:04 AM

You missed the point of the talk as well as using the word "tragedy"

The point of the video, and perhaps the Rabbi will comment, is reasons for euthanasia, if any - certainly not blindness. Rabbi relates that he does not believe that this is a reason for taking your life - so it really isn't a tragedy (my interpretation). I interpret the word "tragedy" more as sadness, because hearing really is one of our senses, a gift, and it makes life easier for communication and safety, There are pleasantries such as good music that we use hearing for. There are good things from not being able to hear too - you miss ugly things that people say. During my life I lived with 2 family members who are deaf, and life was not a tragedy, but I think they would have liked to be able to hear. My best friend teaches the deaf, and it is quite difficult for some of the young and fairly uneducated parents that fail to work with their kids on communication or learn to sign, and they lack patience. Not all parents are as diligent as you and your husband. So don't take this as an insult - it was an example of framing right from wrong.

Anonymous, January 28, 2013 12:51 AM

I know that wasn't his point

Barbara, I know that wasn't the point of the video. He still didn't have to use the word tragedy in that context (and since it was totally irrelevant to his point, why say anything at all?). There are actually many, many, children out there like our son. He is far from an exception. Rabbi Salamon could have said instead that it was enough of a challenge that they were deaf, rather than calling it a tragedy.

(24) Keith, UK, January 24, 2013 2:34 PM

Full Agreement

Rabbi, it doesn't mean that I am being hard-hearted, not by any means, but I do believe that on this subject you are 100 per cent right. Yes of course we are to have a huge amount of compassion for anyone experiencing the awful circumstances such as those of the twins that you mention and, G-d willing, we would never have to go through anything such as that ourselves, but it is up to G-d and not us to terminate the wonderful gift of life that He has given us. Thank you Rabbi.. Keith :)

Anonymous, January 26, 2013 2:25 AM

euthanasia

I don't necessarily agree with you. Circumstances can be laid out in advance by a person legally when euthanasia is to be used.. When is the end of life? When medicine decrees it? When God decrees it? When you no longer are of sound mind? You can sustain a person for a long time by artificial means? Is that Godly? My dad had Alzheimer's 12 years at a young age. My parents were not wealthy and my mother took care of him 7 years at home until his care gave her a nervous breakdown (no adult children living in state). and then he was in a nursing homes for 5 years. The money situation was horrible for my mother; I could not help as I was just out of college, 2 siblings in college. The nursing homes were horrible - we had 2 shut down. We finally brought my dad to Texas where I lived. He hadn't known me for 7 years already. We had a special nurse and ordered extra ood for him, but he would not eat, had terrible bedsores, and they kept hin tied up all day and night. But he lingered and spent a miserable year in/out of the hospital with kidneys shut down and the law said that he had to go on dialysis. I would try to feed him, and he didn't eat. My dad had said a number of times when he was young and of sound mind, If I ever get senile like Mrs. P, just put some sleeping pills in my coffee so I won't wake up. My dad never wanted to live like that. There was no consciousness, no happiness, no cognitive function, he was incontinent. It hurt my mother terribly, financially it was difficult for her. If after 7 years of home care my dad had euthanasia, i think it would have been a blessing. i cried every day i went to see him. I cried when he died because he was a great man but i did not cry at his funeral - his death was a relief - his spirit was freed from his imperfect body.

(23) Eric Rachut, M.D., January 24, 2013 1:24 PM

Even worse

Rabbi Salomon's video on the recent twin euthanasia is greatly appreciated. Unfortunately, the situation is even worse both in Europe and here in the US. The primary means of euthanasia in America is passive - withholding nutrition and hydration from those who are "hopeless" (which can mean, for example, comatose). This began in the 1980's when the AMA changed this provision from basic human needs (others are warmth and shelter) to a form of medical care, which is optional. (The Schiavo case was one notorious example - but it is now widely practiced). I have seen individuals with strokes - still alive - subjected to this in small Midwestern hospitals.

(22) Kenneth M, January 24, 2013 12:06 AM

Whose life is it anyway?

Whose life is it anyway? Religions, Nations, Clans, Families, and Individual Honor all of these have been used to rationalize the ending of another life. We make Heroes of those that do this with the most success, write histories as to how special they or he was, and then we put up statues for all to see as to the best of us. Stories, novels, movies, and now video games extol the winner! When folks ask me why I now define myself as a humanist I respond, " too many dead people". I wish there were a counter that totaled the putting to death of people by other's belief systems. We could have our historians come up with a number per century, and start the counter any day. Why do so many people worry about another's personal will and domain, while the people have been so busy ending others lives because of their belief systems and our more base characteristics, greed and avarice? What is it that directs people to believe that they have the right, character, truth to not allow another person the domain of their body and life? I find that all the rationales for this behavior is at times evil, cruel, criminal, hateful, and irrational. I know that my words will fall on the deaf ears of orthodox/radical belief systems, as there is no deviation from the Belief System. Has anyone looked at the Death by Belief System Counter, today?

SusanE, January 27, 2013 8:15 PM

Well Said Kenneth M

I agree completely.

(21) SusanE, January 23, 2013 4:11 AM

Euthanasia / Suicide

End of life cancer patients are euthanised with morphine or other drug much of the time. The Dr. will explain.. Too much drug will kill the patient ...... too little will keep him living in pain. You decide. - - - - Removing life support is assisting death. If the patient is awake or alert it is suicide. If he is unconscious and someone else decides, it is euthanasia. These twin brothers decided on assisted suicide. My heart aches for them and for their families. G-d help us that we are never asked to make a decision about a loved ones' life or death.

(20) Lisa, January 23, 2013 1:27 AM

Yes, it's wrong to take our own life....albeit are we in their shoes?

Do we even have a society anymore? Does our opinion matter? People will continue to decide for themselves.....so lets discuss a safer more productive topic....what to make for Pesach....which is just around the corner.

(19) Deborah Seidle, January 22, 2013 11:32 PM

How much pain can one or should one have to bear

I've been in the doldrums for the past few months with several different (non terminal thank God) health issues. This past weekend I experienced excruciating pain and submitted myself to all sorts of medications. I started thinking about when is pain too much for a human to bear? Do we ever get a say? I prayed very hard to Hashem to make my symptoms disappear ( miraculously would be good). Thankfully, I am feeling His refuah today. The only power I have in reality is access to the One Who has all the power. I just hope I am up to the test.

(18) Paul Freeman, January 22, 2013 11:06 PM

Rabbi

Rabbi, Is it not possible to believe in a supreme being who understands you are not perfect but nevertheless loves you with all your faults; who recognises there are limits to what you can endure and who doesn't demand more; and who wants for you only happiness, not pain, just so long as no one else's happiness is compromised? Would that not be more of the kind of supreme being one could relate to, talk to and trust than one who demands obedience to his laws even though we cannot understand why; who asks for what we do not have to give; and who makes this demand of us even though he does not show his face?

j, January 23, 2013 9:17 PM

Judaism is hard

Paul: In Christianity, all you need to do to be saved and to experience eternal reward is believe in JC. But Orthodox Judaism demands a lot more from us. It commands us to follow 613 mitzvot, many of which seem esoteric or completely inscrutable. Look at the challenges he put in front of the Avot. None of them lived easy and carefree lives; they were challenged again and again to do as Hashem requested / demanded. That's the way it works. I don't think it precludes us from believing that Hashem is compassionate and understanding of our faults. In fact, the whole concept of t'shuva is based on His knowing that we will fall short. Many times. But we believe that if we do well and truly do our best in treating our fellows the right way and following his laws we will be rewarded. Sometimes we see that reward in this life; but sometimes it's saved for Olam Habah. I agree, it's a bit of a frustrating construct, not knowing if He understands us in the way we hope. But I suppose that's what true faith is about

Meira Mandel, January 24, 2013 4:40 AM

there is a basic beleif that prefaces this whole discussion

I'm not so good at communicating things properly but I'll try, I think that if you don't have clarity on the basic points about g-d and his ways then you will certainly feel that g-d is not just and that He wants us to just follow his ways without understanding. One of the basic principles of belief is that G-d is Just and that all He does for us and gives to us is good and for our benefit. There is a common parable used to explain our lack of understanding. Ex: is that we are opening up to page 56987 in a book and we didnt read anything before that page so it is not possible to be able to understand why G-d does things and we can't always see that things are GOOD for us, especially if they come as painfull or uncomfortable events. G-d gives everyone what is good for them and what they need to fullfill their portion in this world. If you can come to make sense out of those basic beleifs then your questions are answered and anyone who decides to end their life is claiming to know better than G-d as to what is good for him. I do not mean to undermine the emotional distress that ppl go through in their lives and its not easy to take my logical approach and apply it to life. Unfortunately I have had to many ppl in my life choose to end their own lives. We can not judge anyone in this position and I believe that G-d judges everyone according to his or her own situation with mercy.

(17) Marilyn Rosen, January 22, 2013 10:37 PM

Maybe God helped them make the decision.

Unless you are in the specific situation you cannot know how you would react. I personally would not want to do this. If these men were my children I would not want them todo this, but as long as they live where they dothey have a right to do what they did. Who are we to tell them what to do. Do they have living parents?

(16) Anonymous, January 22, 2013 10:21 PM

Who really knows God's Will?

We can all agree that murder is wrong, and that no one has the right to take the life of an innocent. But when this happens, don't people say that it is God's will? If an unfortunate murder can be God's will, why would a suicide not be God's will? If a person takes his own life, is he not also God's instrument? I apologize if people find this offensive, but I really do not understand.

Boris Rajek, January 24, 2013 12:54 AM

God's will?

IMHO, God's will was (and is) that, we (people) have " free will". We are God's instruments, but our free will is now our instrument. Any instrument can be used for good, or bad. In other words, God delegated part of his will to us. Final judgement, how any instrument was used, rests wit the Creator.

(15) Anonymous, January 22, 2013 8:55 PM

Euthusania "Our View"

For such a thoughtful video, the end was bad. What do you mean by saying Judaism is against euthunasia "this is our view. What do you think?". Do we consider Judaism a "view" or "our" personal view? Does your opinion change our belief that this is absolutley forbidden. This was badly phrased. It makes it sound like the subject is up for debate. As though I have one opinion; you have another. A better way to end this video might have been: Judaism believes that life is G-d given and holy. It forbids euthanasia. Think about it." And by the way, it would have been beneficial to mention that Judaism does NOT ask to prolong life artificially, especially when there is great suffering or when the end is imminent. Then it is forbidden to disturb the onset of death. Judaism is sensitive, sensible and balanced.

(14) judith Razieli, January 22, 2013 6:09 PM

life and death

I am against euthanasia. Even for animals. My little dog is sixteen years old and has a number of ailments. She is not in pain as far as I can see. Yes, it is a chore to take care of her but I truly believe all life is precious and that no one has the right nor should take anthers life. No matter what. My dog's name is Tikva....hope. As long as there is life, there is always hope.

(13) Frank Martin, January 22, 2013 5:52 PM

Euthanasia & Obamacare

Rabbi Salomon, Todah rabbah for such a sensitive, concise and accurate statement on the value of human life. My fear is that under Obamacare, government agencies along with the medical community will make determinations as to who lives and dies based on cold economics. A nation that kills its unborn is capable of anything. Choose life! G-d gives and G-d takes away. We do not want to emulate Europe.

Rachel, January 27, 2013 5:33 PM

Euthanasia & Insurance Companies

I've got news for you: Under insurance companies, insurance companies along with the medical community ALREADY make determinations as to who lives and dies based on cold economics. Unless you can pay to keep someone on life support indefinitely, you will find that most insurers will refuse to pay for further care after a certain point.

(12) David Strisiver, January 22, 2013 5:05 PM

Euthanasia

I have been a doctor for 38 years and have always believed life is sacred. Who is going to make the decision for children and those suffering with Alzheimer's. I had a patient with ALS - Lou Gehrig's disease who had been my patient for many years prior to developing the disease it was terrible watching him die slowly I prescribed morphine orally to alleviate the distress and stressed that taking too much would be terminal. He did not overdose and had he done so I do not think that I was a party to his demise. He was given treatment and knew the consequences. He chose life. If we write euthanasia into our laws we do start on a very slippery slope and no-one can say otherwise.

(11) Sue, January 22, 2013 4:23 PM

Oregon Euthenasia

My Mom had a stroke in Oregon in 1995. Believe me, the euthenasia law in Oregon permeates every bit of society there. I've been there enough to know that (besides being born and raised there). The doctor spent a half an hour trying to convince me not to feed her. I knew enough about halacha to know that that wasn't permissible. PS She lived almost 10 years and brought a lot of joy to a lot of people.

(10) Colin Plen, January 22, 2013 4:15 PM

God does not have the time to check each person's problems

A man I knew was a robust healthy 60 year old then he began getting very bad headaches and the doctors toold him the headaches would get worse, he had a tumour in the brain and he would go blind before he died. The man went home and shot himself. It is all very well for a healthy Rabbi to claim tha God knows what should happen to a person but if a person is suffering and will suffer worse, why can he not commit suicide or be asssited to commit suicide?

(9) Anonymous, January 22, 2013 4:13 PM

Comment

Rabbi: For what it’s worth. I don’t consider myself a very intelligent man. Yet, your message is so very poignant. And, however we may rationalize such a decision made between and with two brothers, your words are truth. Period. Immediately, while listening to you say they were also going blind, Helen Keller came into my thoughts. And then you mentioned her name. Yet, she was “Born” her way. They were “facing” their fate, realizing exactly what they would become. You never mentioned the twins’ diseases; so, I’m not going to speculate. I, personally, cared for my mother and father. They were both mill workers, and had no material wealth. Dad died from Altzheimer’s. The last three years of his life were a gradual disconnect from my mother and myself. He died in ’99. Mom died in 2004 from a heart attack. She acquired macular degeneration 20 years before her death, and learned, somehow, to live with it and never complain. Now, I tell you this, and witness it to God Almighty: I would have personally terminated my father’s life, BUT FOR the law. He ended up a “blob”. This missive is not to denigrate in any way, shape, or form what you said. Yet, on this Earth, as you so well know, sometimes things must be done. Do I agree with the twins? I’m not in their shoes. And, God only knows the surreal connection between Twins. I wish there was some cute Latin phrase, or a quote from a scholar of years past, wherein I should leave an indelible image upon one’s thinking to end this. But, there isn’t. Thank you for generating the video, Rabbi Salomon. Ernie-Joe

(8) Ernest Miller, January 22, 2013 4:05 PM

This euthanasia issue will always be with us until the end of time.If a person can put side his or her own mental and physical problems, including dealing with extreme physical pain, one would have to realize that life is in essence only given by God. That being the case, we have no right to give it away and should be obligated to maintain and preserve it as long as humanely possible. Of course this is the thinking Judaism adheres to. However, assuming one believes in God,such a view could be considered a moral one as well.. What right do we have to destroy something that wasn't created by us in the first place?

(7) Linda, January 22, 2013 4:00 PM

only God

Although I have frequently been so down or so sick I wished my life to end, and have thought deeply about taking it, only God can do this.

Anonymous, January 22, 2013 6:04 PM

Here for you

Dear Linda, You are brave AND strong. Take each moment as it comes - there is a wonderful book about affirmations called "You Can Heal Your Life" by Louise Hay. If you can't afford to buy it, I will get it and send it to you. Sending you blessings and support into cyber space, Regina

(6) Shawn Driman, January 22, 2013 3:25 PM

Before you pass judgement...

Before you pass judgement.....realize that, God forbid, you may one day be in the situation of having to choose to end your own life. This must surely be the heaviest decision that life can thrust upon anyone, and no one person can prescribe the extent of suffering for any other person. Taking your own life is not a flippant decision, and should be respected with empathy, not judgement.

RY, January 22, 2013 5:34 PM

The Rabbi was not judging. He was clearly empathetic and understanding that it is very painful. He 'was' stating clearly that Jewish law makes it clear that God does not permit this.

(5) Regina, January 22, 2013 12:58 AM

Important Topic

I am so glad that you commented on what happened and the subject matter in general. We live in a world where the value of life has been diminished - and has been replaced by monetary considerations. While this might not apply in this case, you can be sure that the COST of keeping people alive is a major player here. In my personal experience, my father went into respiratory failure and was put on a breathing machine. The nurse came in during the middle of the night and told me that my father was "suffering" and that we could stop all the treatments, administer a morphine drip and make him "comfortable". She said that "no matter what, the outcome will be the same". I looked at my father, in his 90's and suffering from dementia, and looked back at her and REFUSED TO STOP ANYTHING. 5 hours later my father woke up, took off the oxygen mask, looked at me and said, "What's for breakfast? I have to daven..." He died nearly 4 years later. When faced with such a situation, it is critical to have emotional support AND THE HALACHA to rely on.

Janie Kelley, January 22, 2013 4:02 PM

Very well said.

I believe everything you said is the Biblical truth

Regina, January 22, 2013 6:01 PM

Thank you

Janie, may you never be faced with such a situation. Kol Tuv, Regina

Allaire, January 22, 2013 4:24 PM

We get caught up in emotional responses to llife's difficulties...and sometimes they can lead us to forget that a simple touch can be worth a thousand words. But this was a tough case for sure...

That "morphine drip" is nothing more than an aide to shut down the breathing system; it IS a form of physician-assisted suicide, a legal form. As far as these brothers go, I do not know what was making them blind, but I do believe that the way science is going, that maybe with time, they could have seen again. I know how lonely the thought of no sight and non-hearing must be…such isolation, a prisoner in your own body so I will not pretend to play God; I have no real answers. I feel sorry for those brothers however, to be given such a feat in life and then to decide that death is the answer. It is very sad.

gyuri, January 22, 2013 5:58 PM

Nurse, the decision suggester?

What kind of Micky Mouse place was your father that a NURSE? makes life and death suggestions about a patient? ...and in the middle of the night?

Regina, January 23, 2013 1:19 AM

It can happen ANYWHERE

My dad was actually in a very "good" hospital; let me say for the record that he was cared for by some wonderful doctors and nurses. However, this kind of attitude is becoming more and more pervasive in our society - maybe even throughout the world. The bottom line is we must be vigilant and not accept everything that medical professionals tell us as the truth. Fortunately,the halacha is there to tell us what is right and wrong.

(4) JustSayin..., January 21, 2013 4:12 AM

No Slippery Slope

Truly there is not a slippery slope. Conscience dictates to the individual and to blame the 'slippery slope' is to not hold people accountable for their decisions. I mean those on both sides. These brothers chose, who are we and how does it factor into our personal present choices? We are all given the choice to live and enjoy life every day. Upon rising every day we can live a full day or an empty day, one of good or one of evil, a bland existence one of meaning and do we? Do we sit at the computer while our kids wonder about, play video games when we could be sharing conversation, do we really use our time wisely? Why talk of others killing themselves when we do the same thing? When the choice is taken by death what will this time mean then? When law dictates there is no longer a choice what do you think today would be worth to have back? When we waste a day aren't we doing the same thing really only just a day at a time and without the fan fare? If life is worth the conversation then go make someones day bright and be thankful for your day now. Leave those who kill their days to them and go use yours now.

Anonymous, January 21, 2013 11:14 AM

Huh?

Sorry JustSayin..., but your comment in total could be used to define the idiomatic phrase "a slippery slope".

Shoshana-Jerusalem, January 21, 2013 8:44 PM

The value of time

Your remarks about not wasting time are beautifully true. Time is a precious gift from Gd and we should use it well, for mitzvot and chesed (acts of loving kindness). We should be thankful for every moment we are alive. BUT we also have to realize that suicide is forbidden by Jewish law, and so is murder. Maybe they want to give it a fancy name, not wanting to be called murderers. But as Jews we have to have a clear picture of right from wrong, leave out all the philosophy, and do what our Creator wants. In all matters of life and death we have to consult with a qualified Orthodox rabbi who is considered an expert in the field of medical questions. But in case that an emergency occurs and their just isn't time to consult, and we have to choose between life and death, do like it says in the Torah, and choose life.

Regina, January 22, 2013 5:15 AM

Strongly disagree

The difference is that they enlisted the participation of another person. "Thou Shalt Not Kill" - if you do it to yourself, then it's solely on you; when other people are involved AND SOCIETY SAYS IT IS OK..."Thou Shalt Not Kill" has been thrown out the window.

Anonymous, January 22, 2013 6:05 PM

Who chooses?

One can certainly choose how they will spend their time and one can certainly choose whether they wish to live or die; but we do not need to have government sanction to do evil, nor do we need to involve the medical community. The fundamental problem behind the argument is a moral one. When we devalue human life we deviate from the morality established by G-d Himself.

(3) J.D., January 20, 2013 6:13 PM

Tragic precedent

Awful story, and I'm not taking one side over the other. But I have heard that in the Jewish view, (however this is to be understood) a blind person is like a dead person. So maybe it can be argued from that point of view that they were terminal, about to face death in a way. Also, Helen Keller lived her whole life blind and deaf whereas these brothers always had sight. To lose it at this point is not something Helen Keller could have related to. I can only pray that no one ever goes through something this terrible again, and we learn the right lessons from their story, whatever they are.

(2) Eamon, January 20, 2013 1:23 PM

slippery slope

There are several instances where the slippery slope has been mentioned but it was ignored and the result is found at the bottom of the slope. I am 74 and caring for my wife who is in the last stages of Alzheimer's. It is a hard road and I am alone in caring for her. Once euthanasia becomes law people like myself will be prosecuted for inflicting suffering on a loved one instead of arranging euthanasia on her behalf. There are several steps on the slippery road and once you take the first step there is no going back.Those who don't want to be part of the slippery road will be ridiculed.

Regina, January 22, 2013 12:49 AM

You are a HERO

Dear Eamon, How wise you are as you envision what the future could hold. May G-D give you the strength to continue to care for your dear wife in such a loving and tender manner. Please allow yourself to get some help - either by paying people if you can, or from your community. It is too much to carry alone. Also, if you haven't already done so, find a support group for people caring for loved ones with dementia and GO. I will pray for you and, once again, may Hashem give you the strength to carry on.

Eamon, January 22, 2013 2:41 PM

Regina

I have G-D's help that is why I can carry on alone. My wife and I are one and I do enjoy taking special care of her. If the roles were reversed she would be doing that for me. Many thanks for your advice and concern.

(1) Alan S., January 20, 2013 11:17 AM

"The slippery slope" can be applied to many concepts, ideas, and issues. As a people, we can't even come to terms with the slippery slope of a much simpler issue that is in the news these days: is drinking a 17 oz can of soda going to lead to death, and its attendant cost of expensive health care dollars, any quicker than drinking a 16 oz can of soda? Almost every issue of morality and right and wrong can find roots in the concept of the slippery slope. The euthanasia discussion will rage on without satisfaction rendered to anyone on either side of the issue.

 

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