Sunday, July 3, 2022

Netherlands Health Minister Proposes Protocol for euthanasia of children under 12.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The DutchNews.nl reported today that Dutch Health Minister Ernst Kuipers announced the intention to extend euthanasia to children, but without changing the law. Kuipers intends to extend the Groningen Protocol, which currently applies to babies, to include children under the age of 12.

An article by Peter McLaren Kennedy for EuroWeekly stated:

The proposed protocol contains seven criteria for euthanasia for those between one and 12. Doctors will have to be convinced the child’s suffering is unbearable and there is no possibility of a cure or a treatment to alleviate the pain.

The diagnosis would have to be fully discussed with the child’s parents as well as the possibility of euthanasia, for which both parents will have to give their permission.

Doctors will also discuss the procedure with the child in a way the child will understand and will only proceed if the child is in no way opposed to it.

In addition, doctors will have to consult at least one independent doctor who will be required to evaluate if all the criteria have been met before euthanasia can take place.

The concept is currently out to consultation with Kuipers to present the final concept in October, when he will also announce when the protocol will come into force.

In October 2020, Netherlands Health Minister Hugo de Jonge announced that the government would amend or permit child euthanasia. According to the DutchNews.nl:

De Jonge added that current laws would not need to be amended. Rather, doctors would be exempted from prosecution for carrying out an approved euthanasia on a child.
At that time, an effective campaign opposing child euthanasia was established by a group of Netherlands citizens and the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition ran a petition with more than 100,000 people opposing child euthanasia. The Netherlands government did not extend euthanasia to children.

This latest announcement sets a dangerous precedent. The Groningen Protocol permits euthanasia of newborns who are experiencing current or possible future suffering. If you use the same definitions for children under 12, there will be many euthanasia deaths of children who may have treatable conditions. Further to that, there are many medical conditions that possibly lead to future suffering.

As much as I oppose euthanasia in general, it would be more honest if
the Netherlands parliament debated and passed clear legal guidelines rather than avoid the contentious debate and approve a killing protocol that will enable doctors and parents to make lethal decisions in a back room.

health minister Ernst Kuipers

Read more at DutchNews.nl:

health minister Ernst Kuipers has said in a briefing to MPs.

Read more at DutchNews.nl:

4 comments:

gordon friesen said...

Childhood is under attack from both ends. At the top from euthanasia for mature minors (child choice), and at the bottom from infanticide (parent choice). Logically, we can expect these two thrusts to meet in the middle. And even overlap.

Considering the now thorough-going bias in favour of euthanasia, it is quite possible to imagine parent chosen deaths in the case of older and older children, even where the child's own willingness to die is nebulous at best (innocently trusting adults' claims that he will "go to a better place").

It is also possible that with very young children (coached by professional care-givers) parents objections will be ignored in the name of autonomy.

In short, I find it quite likely that we will see older children killed because the parent knows best, and younger children killed because THEY know best. The only common denominator being that death prevails by default.

Rick Wiersma said...

Nederland is Klaar

Catherine Frances said...

…and God said, “Thou shalt not kill”.

Anonymous said...

WHATEVER YOU DO TO GODS CHILDREN IT WILL BE DONE UNTO YOUR CHILDREN.HE IS INCONTROL SUFFER THE LITTLE CHILDREN TO COME ONTO ME FOR SUCH IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.YOU WILL SEE IF YOU DO NOT HEED TO THE WORDS OF GOD.IT IS ONLY GODS CHOICE TO TAKE AWAY LIFE WHEN HE IS READY.......LILLIE