Francis, 89, and Anne, 86, both of whom are not terminally ill, opted for euthanasia fearing that if one of them dies of natural causes first, the other will have to face loneliness, the Daily Mail reported.

The couple has three children, who say they would be unable to care for either parent if one of them became widowed. The children have 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 unbearable suffering.

The couple is receiving regular medical treatment for age-related ailments. Francis is receiving treatment for prostate cancer for 20 years and is unable to spend a day without morphine and Anne is partially blind and almost deaf.

Their son, John Paul, 55, approached their doctor to request for their euthanasia - which was legalised in Belgium in 2002 - but the doctor refused, saying there was no grounds to do so. John Paul then found another doctor willing to perform the killings in an unnamed hospital in Flanders, Belgium, in which 82 percent of euthanasia cases have been performed.

"We are not sad, we are happy," Francis was quoted as saying. The couple's daughter has remarked that her parents are talking about their deaths as eagerly as if they were planning a holiday.John Paul said the double euthanasia of his parents was the "best solution".

 

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