Dutch government funds study to consider child euthanasia

By April 29, 2016 Recent News

LifeSiteNews 27 April 2016
The Dutch minister for public health, Edith Schippers, has decided to award about 450,000 dollars of public money for scientific research on child euthanasia. She made the announcement last week in response to a request made in June 2015 by the Dutch Association of Pediatricians (NVK) asking for decriminalization of so-called “mercy-killing” of children aged between 1 and 12.
Last Friday, Schippers told the Second Chamber of Parliament that she is presently of the opinion that there are not enough reasons to make euthanasia available for this age group, and that the NVK’s request is being put on hold. But the debate has not been closed and the minister appears to be open to other solutions.
The decision to subsidize research on child euthanasia, as well as the one – also announced on Friday – to open a new support-desk for doctors who are facing difficult end-of-life situations regarding children aged 1 to 12, do show that sooner or later the slippery slope of legalized euthanasia leads medical practice to ever-increasing sympathy towards procuring death to larger and larger categories of patients.
The majority of the lower Chamber of the Netherlands has already expressed support for child euthanasia.
Both parliamentarians and pediatricians are following the lead of neighboring Belgium, where minors are allowed to ask for euthanasia provided they are mentally competent and both their parents agree, that their suffering is unbearable, and death would take place “within a foreseeable time.” It was the Belgian law, which came into effect in February 2014, that triggered an official request from Schippers asking the NVK for its opinion. Its report was submitted one year later, and the minister took one more year to assess the situation.
In the Netherlands, euthanasia is already legal for newborns up to 12 months, and for adolescents aged between 12 and 17, who are legally considered to be “mentally competent,” insofar as their parents do not oppose the decision. Officially, 5 minors – one aged 12, and four aged 16 or 17 – have been euthanized between 2002 and 2012. Doctors are now aiming to close the gap, despite the fact that the younger the child, the less “mentally competent” it can be deemed to be.
In Belgium, there is no age limit; rather, they use a case-by-case assessment of a child’s understanding of what euthanasia means.
READ MORE: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/dutch-government-funds-study-to-consider-child-euthanasia
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