Dutch Commission Would Set Euthanasia ‘Rules’ of Newborn Babies (2005)

The Commission may allow doctors to euthanize more “seriously suffering” newborn babies they believe will not live even with medical care and attention. Euthanasia of newborns is still technically illegal but the commission, which would consist of 3 doctors, an attorney and a bioethicist, will likely recommend that physicians who kill newborns but follow certain guidelines will not be charged with manslaughter or murder. Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner and Junior Health Minister Clemence Ross-van Dorp said the commission would begin its work in mid-2006 [Reuters]. They hoped it would add “transparency” to what’s taking place there. Bert Dorenbos [Dutch pro-life group Scream for Life] said the commission would just provide cover for doctors to engage in more euthanasia. “It means that doctors will have a freer hand as to whether to end the life of a child or not. It is a slippery slope.” [30Nov05, LifeNews.com]   DUTCH STUDIES DON’T TELL THE WHOLE STORY ABOUT EUTHANASIA PRACTICES. Dutch euthanasia studies, recently published in American medical journals, present new data on end-of-life decision-making as it pertains to the induced deaths of adults and children in the Netherlands. A Dutch, government-sponsored, euthanasia study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, examined patients’ requests for euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide (PAS), and the responses of Dutch doctors to those requests. Researchers from Amsterdam?s VU University Medical Center sent written questionnaires to general practitioners (GPs) in 18 of the country’s 23 GP districts. A total of 3,614 GPs (60%) filled out the questionnaire and returned it. They were asked about all euthanasia and PAS requests they had received in the previous 12 and...

European Group Launched in 2013 to Halt ‘Growing Threat’ of State-Sanctioned Euthanasia

A new coalition was launched in Brussels in November 2013 to combat the growing threat of euthanasia across Europe. The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition Europe, (EPC-Europe) brings together organizations and individuals from across the continent to campaign against the erosion of laws that protect people from euthanasia. This new campaign group will act as a powerful voice against attempts to change laws across Europe that protect people from euthanasia and assisted suicide. Dr Kevin Fitzpatrick, OBE, Coordinator of EPC-Europe said: ‘The UK, France and Germany are currently considering legislation, but overwhelming evidence from jurisdictions where euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide is legal, such as Belgium and the Netherlands, demonstrates beyond doubt, how quickly and easily euthanasia is extended to others, especially disabled people and elderly people. High-profile cases here have provoked international outrage leading commentators to think of Belgium as the new world leader in exploiting euthanasia against those with disabilities and mental health issues for example.’ The group will highlight cases of euthanasia in Belgium including those of Mark and Eddy Verbessem, the 45-year-old deaf identical twins, who were euthanised by the Belgian state, after their eyesight began to fail; and the case of Nathan/Nancy Verhelst, whose life was ended in front of TV cameras, after a series of botched sex-change operations. His mother said she hated girls, found her child ‘so ugly’ at birth and did not mourn his death. And the case of Ann G, who had anorexia and who opted to have her life ended after being sexually abused by the psychiatrist who was supposed to be treating her for the life-threatening condition. Dr Fitzpatrick continued, ‘The...

Child Euthanasia in Europe (9/04)

NOW THEY WANT TO EUTHANIZE CHILDREN In the Netherlands, 31 percent of pediatricians have killed infants. A fifth of these killings were done without the “consent” of parents… FIRST, Dutch euthanasia advocates said that patient killing will be limited to the competent, terminally ill who ask for it. Then, when doctors began euthanizing patients who clearly were not terminally ill, sweat not, they soothed: medicalized killing will be limited to competent people with incurable illnesses or disabilities.   Then, when doctors began killing patients who were depressed but not physically ill, not to worry, they told us: only competent depressed people whose desire to commit suicide is “rational” will have their deaths facilitated. Then, when doctors began killing incompetent people, such as those with Alzheimer’s, it’s all under control, they crooned: non-voluntary killing will be limited to patients who would have asked for it if they were competent. And now they want to euthanize children. In the Netherlands, Groningen University Hospital has decided its doctors will euthanize children under the age of 12, if doctors believe their suffering is intolerable or if they have an incurable illness. But what does that mean? In many cases, as occurs now with adults, it will become an excuse not to provide proper pain control for children who are dying of potentially agonizing maladies such as cancer, and doing away with them instead. As for those deemed “incurable”–this term is merely a euphemism for killing babies and children who are seriously disabled. For anyone paying attention to the continuing collapse of medical ethics in the Netherlands, this isn’t at all shocking. Dutch doctors...

Pushing Infanticide: From Holland to New Jersey (3/05)

by Wesley J. Smith Bureaucracy has trumped morality in the Netherlands. How else can one explain a country where, when doctors admit publicly that they commit eugenic infanticide, the leaders’ response is not to prosecute them for murder, but instead to urge that guidelines be created under which future baby killings can openly take place? The “Groningen Protocol“—named after a pediatric hospital which admittedly permits doctors to end the lives of babies born with disabilities or terminal conditions — seeks to normalize infanticide by bringing the practice out of the shadows and into the light of day. Under this thinking, it isn’t the killing that is wrong, but the secrecy. Secrecy? What secrecy? It has been widely known for years that Dutch doctors kill disabled and dying babies. As far back as 1992, the Dutch Royal Society of Medicine published guidelines to be used in deciding whether to kill a baby, including whether the child would ever be able to live independently, experience “self realization” (being able to hear, read, write, labor) and have meaningful interpersonal relations. By 1993, as documented in PBS’s Choosing Death, three out of eight neonatal intensive care units in the Netherlands had specific policies, endorsed by the Dutch Pediatric Society, that permitted infanticide by lethal injection. Rita Marker’s breakthrough book Deadly Compassion (Marker leads the International Task Force on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide) raised the warning flag about Dutch infanticide in 1993. In 1996, the Lancet published a study finding that 8 percent of all Dutch infant deaths each year—between 80 and 100—result from lethal injections, many without parental consent. I wrote about the...

February 2005:Euthanasia

The Feeding Tube May Be Removed from Disabled Terri Schiavo 23Feb05 New Therapy Helps Patients To Swallow New Signs of Awareness Seen With Imaging in Some Brain-Injured Patients Groningen Protocol Can Be Used for Children And Retarded Adults Terminal Sedation Supreme Court’s Acceptance of Oregon’s Assisted Suicide Case Gives Court Opportunity to Restore Legal Protection for Patients     DISABLED TERRI SCHIAVO, set be starved and dehydrated to death when her feeding tube was to be removed 22Feb05, has gained a stay until 23Feb05. Terri Schindler Schiavo is a 41-yr-old woman in FL who has been disabled for several years after a mysterious “incident” in her home caused a lack of oxygen. She is not comatose; she is aware of people around her and recognizes family & friends although she cannot speak; she breathes on her own; she can swallow but has been kept on a feeding tube. Her parents have tried for years to obtain legal guardianship; her husband has refused. At least 17 Disability groups have also been fighting for her life; they know that Terri’s death will affect the security of their own lives. Terri’s parents want only to care for her and provide needed therapy; but her husband has been determined for years to work through the court system to remove her feeding tube so that she will starve and dehydrate to death.     NEW THERAPY HELPS PATIENTS SWALLOW — Called VitalStim, the approach was approved by the US FDA (2002) as an option for patients who might not regain their ability to eat any other way & is designed to help patients recover more quickly. For many patients, their ability to...