Children between the ages of 1 and 12 now can be euthanized in one European nation after officials there extended their voluntary death laws to cover them.
The only qualification appears to be that they have a terminal illness and be suffering.
The Telegraph reported the Dutch government has tweaked its Euthanasia Act so that children are covered for the first time.
“Under the change, euthanasia – legal, voluntary death carried out by a doctor – will only be an option for children who are suffering unbearably with no hope of improvement and for whom palliative care cannot bring relief,” the report explained.
Health minister Ernst Kuipers said the death procedure now is available for “children who are so ill that death is unavoidable and they are expected to die soon.”
The government said it expects the process will be used on up to 10 children a year.
Euthanasia is considered different from assisted suicide as it is seen as a medical procedure.
Already, it was available for terminally ill infants and older children could ask for it if their parents agreed, the report said.
Physicians in the Netherlands by and large long had backed the idea.
But fierce opposition was coming from two Christian parties in the ruling Dutch coalition, the report said.
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Kuipers said the change is “a solution that will help these incurably ill children, their parents and also their doctors.”
Belgium, a neighbor, approved doctor-assisted death for children of all ages a few years ago.
Last year in the Netherlands, 8,720 people died by euthanasia, and more than 91,000 have died by the procedure since it first was adopted in 2002.
A report from the Christian Institute in the U.K. said Kevin Yuill, of the group Humanists Against Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia, said the numbers are alarming.
“Euthanasia is increasingly seen as a solution for social rather than medical problems,” he explained. “What we are increasingly seeing is death, ironically, as a ‘lifestyle choice’ for those who are frightened of living. This is worrying to say the least.”
The report explained:
Last month, Lord Carlile of Berriew KC, philosopher Baroness O’Neill of Bengarve and former Supreme Court judge Lord Jonathan Sumption highlighted the serious flaws in pro-assisted suicide rhetoric in their forewords to a Policy Exchange report.
The experts were writing in support of ethicist Prof John Keown’s critique of the case made by Peers in favour of Baroness Meacher’s failed assisted suicide Bill in the 2021 House of Lords debate.
Lord Sumption pointed to the glaring inconsistency at the heart of the pro-assisted suicide cause: “What is the justification for allowing medically assisted suicide but limiting it to those believed to be close to death or in intolerable pain, actual or prospective?
“There are so many other reasons why one might want to end one’s life. Once the moral barrier has been crossed, what is the logical stopping point?”
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