How long would it take until euthanasia is extended to children and newborns?
In the Netherlands, the law permits children as young as twelve to be euthanised with parental consent. 16 year olds and over can consent themselves. Dutch law also permits children under 1 year old (including newborns) with disabilities such as spina bifida to be euthanised with parental consent under a eugenic policy called The Groningen protocol.
The Dutch Health Minister, Hugo de Jonge, is bringing forward plans to allow euthanasia for children between 1 and 12 years old. Rather than amend the statute law, which would prove controversial, he intends to amend the regulations to ensure doctors would have ‘more legal guarantees’ to be exempt from prosecution if they carry out an approved euthanasia on a child.
In Belgium, Lionel Roosemont explained what would sometimes happen with his disabled daughter. “We were walking with our child in a wheelchair and we would have people that we do not know, and they would come towards us and they would ask us, ‘Why don’t you have euthanasia with that child?’ …If today you go through Belgium you will not see many young children that have a handicap, because they were not left to be alive.”
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