An old couple who have been married for 63 years is about make history as the world's first couple to undergo a joint euthanasia, or in plain term, assisted suicide, a form of legal suicide.
The elderly couple, Francis, 89 and his wife, Anne, 86, are said to be so much in love that they do not want to live apart. The couple, none of them terminally ill, want to take their love to their graves and they have the support of their three adult children.
So instead of either couple feeling lonely when one goes, they have decided to leave at the same time.
According to Mail Online, the couple's children have even gone so far as to find a practitioner willing to carry out the double killings on the grounds that the couple's mental anguish constituted the unbearable suffering needed to legally justify euthanasia. The couple, from Brussels, are receiving regular medical treatment for age-related ailments.
Francis has received treatment for prostate cancer for 20 years and is unable to spend a day without morphine and Anne is partially blind and almost totally deaf. They always go out shopping together because they are both scared that one day the other will not return home.
They decided that life in a care home was not an option because of their fear they would end up bedridden without the strength to insist on euthanasia.
They are also afraid that a good retirement home would cost more than their combined pensions and that they would have to dig into their savings to afford it.
They planned to commit the double suicide on February 3 2015, their 64th wedding anniversary, by placing plastic bags over their heads after taking an overdose of sleeping pills.
Francis told Moustique, a Belgian online news service;
We want to go together because we both fear of the future. It's as simple as this: we are afraid of what lies ahead. Fear of being alone and above all, fear of the consequences of loneliness.
It takes courage to jump from the 20th floor and I am unable even if I wanted to do it. It takes courage to hang, it takes courage to jump into the canal. But a doctor who makes you a shot and lets you gently fall asleep? It does not take courage. Without our son and our daughter, it would never have succeeded.
We are not sad, we are happy. When we were told we could leave life together smoothly, we were on a little cloud. It was as if we had spent all that time in a tunnel and suddenly we came into the light again.
Can such a love exist in this parts?