Thursday, October 29, 2020

The Dutch government wants to avoid the debate by permiting child euthanasia without changing the law

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition


Sign and share the Petition opposing child euthanasia in the Netherlands (Link).

The Dutch government is planing to extend euthanasia to children, while avoiding the debate on this contentious issue.

The Dutchnews.nl reported on October 13 that Dutch Health Minister, Hugo de Jonge announced that the Dutch government will amend or permit child euthanasia. According to the DutchNews.nl:
Health minister Hugo de Jonge has told MPs in a briefing that work is progressing on plans to make it possible to help terminally sick children aged between one and 12 to die, in limited circumstances.

De Jonge said that he wants to ensure there are ‘more legal guarantees for doctors’ who take the decision to end the life of a child, as well as transparency for healthcare staff and parents, and protection for the rights of children. 

Recent reports indicate that de Jonge plans to amend the euthanasia regulations, but not amend the law. DW news reported that:

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.
The current Netherlands law permits euthanasia for children as young as 12, with parental consent, people over the age of 16 can consent to euthanasia. The Groningen Protocol permits euthanasia of newborns with disabilities. The proposed change would allow euthanasia for children (1 - 12).

Similar to the Groningen Protocol, that permits euthanasia of newborns with disabilities, the government plans to approve a set of guidelines to permit euthanasia for children under the age of 12 without actually changing the law.

The Dutch government wants to avoid the debate because of the contentious nature of the issue, but also because the four party coalition government includes two Christian parties who don't want to vote on the issue which may lead to their political defeat in the upcoming March 17, 2021 election.

For instance, Health Minister Hugo deJonge is the leader of the Christian Democratic Appeal party, who have supporters that are critical of euthanasia.

The Netherlands is very sensitive to international criticism of their euthanasia regime. With this in mind, the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition set-up an international petition opposing child euthanasia in the Netherlands that has now been signed by more than 24,000 people.

Since the Dutch government won't publicly debate the issue, then we will create the debate.

Sign and share the Petition opposing child euthanasia in the Netherlands (Link).


Don't let the Dutch government avoid the public debate. Dutch voters deserve to know if their elected representives support child euthanasia before voting in the March 17, 2021 election.

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