Blog Post

Children in the Crosshairs of Euthanasia

Authorities in the two countries made policy decisions in the past week that will make it possible for children to be euthanised, even if the only reason is the distress a dying child causes its parents.

child's arm hospitalLifeSiteNews is reporting on a disturbing trend coming out of both the Netherlands and Belgium where existing euthanasia laws are being expanded to include children.

In Belgium, a proposed law is on the verge of approval by the nation's parliament that will allow doctors to decide whether or not a child of any age can "consent" to being euthanized without parental consent.

The proposed legislation calls for, “the law to be extended to minors if they are capable of discernment or affected by an incurable illness or suffering that we cannot alleviate,” according to the AFP.

Even though children of this age cannot drive, drink, or legally marry, if the law passes, as it seems certain to do, they will be able to ask a doctor to put them to death.

Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard is leading the Belgian Catholic Church in opposition to the bill.

"We expressed our strong reservations regarding the decriminalization of euthanasia as early as 2002," Leonard told the local press last week. "First and foremost because we have excellent palliative care available today, and because we can rely on sedation, to the extent strictly necessary."

If the law passes, Belgium will become the first country in the developed world to allow physician assisted suicide for children.

That is, unless the Netherlands beats them to it. A new policy document has been introduced by the Royal Dutch Medical Association (KNMG) that will allow distress of the parents to serve as sufficient justification to kill a child.

LifeSite reports that Dr Verhagen, one of the authors of the KNMG report and the architect of the Gronignen Protocol, explained to a leading Dutch newspaper, why parental anguish is relevant.

"These children are gray and cold, they get blue lips and suddenly every few minutes they take extremely deep breaths. That's very nasty to see, and it can go on for hours and sometimes days."

The new policy would allow a lethal injection of muscle relaxant in order to shorten "the period of gasping and dying" which can be the cause of "severe suffering for the parents'.”

"It is important to grasp what is so revolutionary about this bland statement," writes Michael Cook, editor of "An innocent human being may be killed without expressing a desire to die because his continued existence is emotionally distressing for others. The genie is out of the bottle. Today it is severely disabled babies; tomorrow it could be brain-damaged teenagers; the day after it could be the demented elderly. You would have no heart if you didn't suffer because of these cases; you would have a heart of stone if you killed them to stop your own pain."

Of the 175,000 babies born every year in The Netherlands, the KNMG suggests that about 650 might be cases which would be worthy of euthanasia.

"The point is that in the Netherlands and Belgium euthanasia bracket creep has taken hold," Cook writes. "The criteria shift ever outward, from terminally ill adults, to adults who have lost their interest in living, to suffering children, and now to children whose parents are suffering."

He concludes: "Anyone with an ounce of sense can see that the day is not far off in the Netherlands and Belgium when the suffering of adult children will be reason enough to euthanize their frail and aged parents. 'Please, doctor, put her out of our misery'.”

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