Human Interest

Ashton Kutcher describes desire to give his own life to save his brother’s at age 13

Actor and anti-child sexual exploitation activist Ashton Kutcher took part in his first interview alongside his twin brother Michael this month for “The Checkup with Dr. David Agus” on Paramount Plus. During the interview, Kutcher revealed that his brother Michael was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at three years old, and at one point years later things were so dire for Michael that Kutcher (just 13 at the time) considered going to extreme measures to save him.

Their mother Diane hadn’t known she was pregnant with twins until the day the boys were born, and as they grew, she began to notice differences between them which ultimately led to Michael’s diagnosis. But that official diagnosis didn’t change how they were treated, according to the brothers.

“My parents had the whole philosophy that Mike’s going to be able to do anything that his brother can do and they challenged me,” Kutcher’s brother Michael said. “Growing up, Chris [Ashton’s real name] challenged me as well.”

URGENT: For every dollar given, 34 more people can be reached with the truth about abortion. Will you join us in this life-saving work as a monthly donor today?

Kutcher added, “You kind of only know what’s right in front of you. Nobody in our family, nobody in our world was ever pointing out a difference. It just kind of felt like, there’s things that he’s good at and there’s things that I’m good at.”

Kutcher always made sure his brother Michael was included in anything he was doing and they acted like most brothers — wrestling and jumping off the porch railing and pile-driving each other. “We fought like crazy,” said Kutcher.

In eighth grade, Michael became sick with a flu-like illness and when he wasn’t getting better about a week later, his mother took him to the emergency room. They learned his heart was enlarged and that without a transplant, he only had three to four weeks to live. Doctors had hoped to buy him some time with the use of medication, but Michael crashed and was moved to the top of the transplant wait list with an estimated 48 hours to live. Their parents quickly brought Kutcher to see his brother.

“I was at my friend’s house, suddenly my dad picks me up and is like, ‘You’re going to go see your brother.’ In hindsight you realize, they want me to see him because they don’t know where this is going,” Kutcher explained through tears. “I go in the room and I’m like, ‘Whoa! Everything’s not OK.’ He flatlines in the room… They’re grabbing me and they take me out.”

Realizing how dire the situation was, Kutcher decided in his 13-year-old mind that he should sacrifice his own life to save his brother. “I’m thinking to myself, ‘If anyone’s a match, I’m a match. Now you start running that cycle through your head. You’re like, ‘This balcony looks far enough to take things.'”

He went to his parents and told them, “Take my heart.”

But 24 hours later, Michael miraculously received a heart transplant which Dr. Agus said was as likely to happen as “winning the lottery.”

Even as his brother survived the transplant and complications such as a blood clot, Kutcher struggled with guilt and wondered, “How do I get to be this lucky?” But Michael made Kutcher realize that life with health issues or disabilities is a life worth living.

“There was a moment in all of this where I moved to New York and was starting to get some traction with my career and Mike came out to visit and stay and he looked at me and he said, ‘Every time you feel sorry for me, you make me less. This is the only life I’ve ever known, so stop feeling sorry for the only thing I have.’ That then created an entire shift back to where I think we are today, which is we’re straight up equals again. That’s it,” said Kutcher.

As Kutcher’s entertainment career grew, Michael admitted to feeling a bit jealous. They had always been side by side, but now Kutcher was out in the world making a name for himself. “It really affected me in terms of my own self-worth. It goes back to trying to figure out who I am,” he explained.

When Kutcher outed his brother as having cerebral palsy during a 2003 national interview, Michael was angry, but then he determined that his brother had actually given him an opportunity.

“I remember when he went up to New York, I wrote him a letter and I said, ‘I feel like a piece of me went away,'” Michael recalled. “I really struggled for a lot of my early adulthood, trying to figure out who Michael was. Once he gave me the opportunity to really express this part of me, I thought, ‘Well, if we’re out there, I might as well do good with it. I might as well be an advocate.'”

Persons with disabilities, if diagnosed in the womb, are often treated as targets for abortion. For those outside the womb, assisted suicide and euthanasia are often promoted as options for their conditions rather than fighting to ensure they receive the services and resources beneficial to them. Canada has even begun steps to legalize assisted suicide for those with mental illnesses in 2023. Deaths by assisted suicide jumped 32% in just one year in Canada, and in 2021, more than 10,000 people were killed.

Able-bodied adults often discriminatorily and incorrectly assume that life with a disability is not worth living, and therefore believe abortion and assisted suicide are justified means to reduce either potential or actual suffering. They discount the gift and the positive aspects of every human life, ignoring the person’s humanity and individualism to focus solely on a person’s diagnosis.

Every single human being is inherently equal and valuable, and created with a purpose. The truth that Ashton and Michael Kutcher display so beautifully is that the deep bond and relationship that siblings can have for one another isn’t a burden. It’s a gift. Ashton and Michael are both gifts — to their family and to each other. As Kutcher, willing to die for his brother to live, so simply stated, “[W]e’re straight-up equals.”

What is Live Action News?

Live Action News is pro-life news and commentary from a pro-life perspective. Learn More

Contact for questions, corrections, or if you are seeking permission to reprint any Live Action News content.

GUEST ARTICLES: To submit a guest article to Live Action News, email with an attached Word document of 800-1000 words. Please also attach any photos relevant to your submission if applicable. If your submission is accepted for publication, you will be notified within three weeks. Guest articles are not compensated. (See here for Open License Agreement.) Thank you for your interest in Live Action News!

To Top