Dutch News

5 July 2014

The Dutch association of Child care want a discussion about euthanasia for children. In the Netherlands euthanasia for newly born and for children from the age of twelve is permitted, but for the age group in between there is a vague gap. In extreme exceptions Dutch child doctors want to give the parents a possibility to let their child die in a dignified way. In September a collective proposal will be formulated after debates.

In the actual Dutch legislation euthanasia is only permitted if the patient requests it several times and if the patient is suffering unbearably. So, to ask for euthanasia a patient needs to be able to give informed consent, which is impossible for young children and for some handicapped and people growing demented. The end a life without a request of the patient is liable to punishment, so doctors are obliged to report the euthanasia of a child to special testing commission.


Since 2005 there is a protocol  that doctors that practise euthanasia on babies will not be prosecuted. But since then only one case of euthanasia for children has been reported, which indicates that Dutch child doctors are still too afraid to report cases to the testing commission.





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