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Humanize From Discovery Institute's Center on Human Exceptionalism

Netherlands Gets Ready for Child Euthanasia

Published in National Review

The Netherlands is about to expand its euthanasia law to allow children ages 1–12 to be killed by doctors. (Children older than 12 already can be euthanized). From the NLTimes story:

Terminally-ill children between the ages of 1 and 12 will likely be granted access to euthanasia, Health Minister Hugo de Jonge told Parliament on Tuesday. End of life procedures carried out by doctors in the Netherlands were already possible for infants up to one year old, and for children above 12 years old.

There is no reason to think the “terminally ill” limitation will last, much less be enforced. After all, babies in the Netherlands are euthanized under the Groningen Protocol, both because of terminal illness and serious disability.

Children are already subjected to terminal sedation — that is, being put in an artificial coma and dehydrated to death.

For the children referenced in the new policy, doctors are only allowed to give palliative care, like sedation, or withhold nutrition over an extended period of time until the patient dies. Doctors describe this as “a gray area” between normal palliative care and active life termination, he said, and they have been calling out for more regulation.

Terminal sedation is not palliative care! It is slow-motion euthanasia.

Dutch death doctors always use the “gray area” excuse to expand the caste of the killable. Once death is in the driver’s seat, it never hits the brakes.

Wesley J. Smith

Chair and Senior Fellow, Center on Human Exceptionalism
Wesley J. Smith is Chair and Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism. Wesley is a contributor to National Review and is the author of 14 books, in recent years focusing on human dignity, liberty, and equality. Wesley has been recognized as one of America’s premier public intellectuals on bioethics by National Journal and has been honored by the Human Life Foundation as a “Great Defender of Life” for his work against suicide and euthanasia. Wesley’s most recent book is Culture of Death: The Age of “Do Harm” Medicine, a warning about the dangers to patients of the modern bioethics movement.