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Netherlands Neanderthals Kill Babies (Groningen Protocol)

Netherlands Hospital Euthanizes Babies

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) - A hospital in the Netherlands - the first nation to permit euthanasia - recently proposed guidelines for mercy killings of terminally ill newborns, and then made a startling revelation: It has already begun carrying out such procedures, which include administering a lethal dose of sedatives.

Now isn't that a fine way to establish public policy. Sort of makes the activists trying to slam thru gay marriage look deliberative. It begs so many questions:

Can a hospital decide when to kill babies? Can these docs be accused of murder? When does it become the job of a doctor to decided who lives and dies? And when you have socialized medicine when does it become the job of a bean counter to decided who lives and dies because the state can't afford the treatment?

All questions the Europhiles don't want to answer.

The announcement by the Groningen Academic Hospital came amid a growing discussion in Holland on whether to legalize euthanasia on people incapable of deciding for themselves whether they want to end their lives - a prospect viewed with horror by euthanasia opponents and as a natural evolution by advocates.

In August, the main Dutch doctors' association KNMG urged the Health Ministry to create an independent board to review euthanasia cases for terminally ill people "with no free will," including children, the severely mentally retarded and people left in an irreversible coma after an accident.

The Health Ministry is preparing its response, which could come as soon as December, a spokesman said.

Three years ago, the Dutch parliament made it legal for doctors to inject a sedative and a lethal dose of muscle relaxant at the request of adult patients suffering great pain with no hope of relief.

The Groningen Protocol, as the hospital's guidelines have come to be known, would create a legal framework for permitting doctors to actively end the life of newborns deemed to be in similar pain from incurable disease or extreme deformities.

So a hospital policy to kill babies will become the de facto law? An odd way to make policy.

Of course this could never happen here... Right? Right?

I'll blog more after I can give it thought... Now it just angers me that they started killing babies on a whim.
'

***** UPDATE *****

Capt Ed was nice enough to read my mind and transcribe it on his blog, saving me the typing. He even got this part word for word. (and even spell checked it for me too)

Much has been made of the supposed "values vote" in the last American election, probably too much, as the data on which the speculation is based is too flawed for broad assumptions. However, the euthanasia debate is completely about values: the value of human life and its meaning to human society. It is one thing for a person to take their own life, or for the family of a brain-dead relative to pull life support. What makes this different is the state apparatus taking on that decision for themselves, deciding who among the citizens supposedly under their protection has no worth and eats up too many resources to go on living. It profoundly repudiates millenia of Western thought, which teaches that individual human life has a precious -- the religious would say sacred -- value.
He forgot the bold, so I added it.

Read the whole thing and pretend I wrote it... He even uses one of my favorite jokes.


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Comments (49)

Just consider it to be VERY... (Below threshold)
Bryan:

Just consider it to be VERY late term abortion.

...terminally ill people... (Below threshold)

...terminally ill people "with no free will," including children...

Anyone who can say children have "no free will" has never watched parents trying to quiet a two-year-old in a family restaurant.

Do you think that the way w... (Below threshold)

Do you think that the way we do it is better, i.e., allowing a spouse or a parent, instead of a doctor, to decide to pull the plug? Should individuals be able to decide ahead of time? I'm just wondering what your overall position on euthanasia is.

The American way is you don... (Below threshold)
julie:

The American way is you don't increase the dosage of pain meds if the respiratory rate is below a certain level even if they are in pain and just leave them to suffer and wait for them to code.

this is so disturbing that ... (Below threshold)
Debra:

this is so disturbing that I can't even comment....

McGehee..yer killin' me

it's barbarism. A complete... (Below threshold)
-S-:

it's barbarism. A complete lapse or encroaching absence in a society of regard for human life.

Unfortunately, physicians in the U.S. and elsewhere have been taking the lives soon after birth of those born with grave birth defects, where a physician determines that an overwhelming problem exists such that a child will never live "normally" or independently of support...but, not so much nowadays, as used to be. BUT, the significant issue is who decides who lives and who does not? If it's based solely on a medical scientist's estimation, that leaves a huge area for other considerations.

The desensitization about the significance and meaning of human life by many today is astounding -- murdering defenseless humans in the womb is dusted off and called "abortion" or even "termination of a pregnancy" or even more abstractly, a few other medical terms, and murder (that includes suicide) is called, "euthanasia."

Murder is murder. If there's mercy involved with it, it's in the mind and beholding of someone rationalizing the act. I'm not at all impervious to suffering, but, the focus in this issue, here, is not on suffering but on some abstract disregard for the meaning of what it is to be alive.

The Netherlands seems to be a breeding ground (strange term applied in this case) for an increasingly deconstructed concept of civilization. Barbarism. It's barbarism.

Man, this whole situation i... (Below threshold)

Man, this whole situation is just screwed up.

Look, for decades doctors have been quietly helping terminally ill patients pass on comfortably when the time came. Deliberately giving a patient an overdose of morphine — with the family's consent — used to be … well, I don't want to say common, exactly, but it was one of those things doctors would do.

But today something that used to be a private matter between doctor and patient or patient's family is now a question of public policy. And, ironically, something that used to be a very big deal is now trivialized to the point of being a statistic.

In trying to legislate the end of life, we've succeeded only in destroying the sanctity of it.

EUthanasia. EU knew it was... (Below threshold)
andre3000:

EUthanasia. EU knew it was coming.

IN DEFENSE OF NEANDERTHALS,... (Below threshold)
-S-:

IN DEFENSE OF NEANDERTHALS, however, Paul, they lived among a society that cared for their sick and their ailing members, buried their dead with memontos and ornaments and had a larger brain capacity than us Homo Sapiens. So, I always try to speak up in defense of Neanderthals, given that it's suspected that they were not an inferior branch of humankind, but, perhaps, a superior one supplanted by another, perhaps severe climate changes and challenges dwindled their numbers down to such an extent that they were easily replaced or lost, or some combination of factors that affects life in one or a few generations, but, the point is is that the Neanderthals don't indicate that they were any more or less primitive than our branch of humans, who did survive.

You know, it's only a miracle that we're here today, since what we know from our DNA is that we're all -- everyone alive today on the planet -- we're all descendants of one small group of humans, if not one lone female. It's surmised from that that the human populations were reduced to such extremes at a few points in our human history that only a handful of people on the planet survived, and then reproduced exponentially afterward (thus, our limited DNA variations).

Same thing probably happened to the Neanderthals but they, unfortunately, didn't make it past whatever traumatic event reduced their populations.

But, nothing that I am aware of about Neanderthals indicates that they were symbols of the worst that people can be, but perhaps superior to who we are as to physiology, capability. We'll never know, unfortunately, but I still try to stick up for them, in reverance for the lost people of Earth.

This sort of thing happens ... (Below threshold)
Mark:

This sort of thing happens in the USA over a million times a year. It's commonly known as abortion. Except in the great majority of cases, the baby killed is perfectly healthy.

Julie and Jennifer, are you... (Below threshold)
Bonnie:

Julie and Jennifer, are you suggesting that killing these babies is an okay thing to do? I mean, whether the parents decide to do it or the doctors decide to do it, either way it is so wrong. Whether it is done "humanely" with painkillers, it is wrong. Even if the baby was only going to live a few months, or was going to be retarded its whole life, it is absolutely wrong to kill it. I disagree with euthanasia, but if some old geezer is sick of living in pain and wants to take their own life, at least they made the decision. These are little babies. It makes me so sick that people are doing this in that so-called progressive state. And they call Americans and our moral values infantile.

I don't really care for hys... (Below threshold)
Tim in PA:

I don't really care for hysterics from either side of the abortion debate, but I think this crap in the Netherlands is a step too far.

They need to stop and take a long good look at the path they are headed down. Give the hospitals the power to euthanize infants, and the list of reasons to do so will keep growing.

Even if the baby was onl... (Below threshold)
julie:

Even if the baby was only going to live a few months, or was going to be retarded its whole life, it is absolutely wrong to kill it.

And is it not wrong to let a child suffer terribly without any hope its life will be more than a few months? Shd an infant be resuscitated over an over again even though their illness is terminal? These kids are generally in pain to begin with. Mental retardation is usually accompanied by other painful genetic defects. Do you think it's fun being used as a pin cushion with all the IV's they are subject to? And as I already mentioned, pain management leaves a lot to be desired. If they were given the appropriate amount of pain meds, it would depress their breathing, which of course, will eventually lead to death. So, do you withhold pain meds and just let them suffer?

What one person may define as making the patient comfortable and not resorting to heroic efforts when death is inevitable, others may label as euthanasia. I base this on my most recent internet pissing match on the subject. It is impossible to understand what is going on by what you read in these little news blurbs.

If an animal is in agony, a... (Below threshold)
Omni:

If an animal is in agony, and always will be until it dies, we consider it barbaric to NOT euthanize it... but if a HUMAN is in non-stop agony and will be until the end, they CAN'T be given euthanasia even if they WANT it? Does anyone else see a problem with that?

You couldn't torture a person nonstop for weeks or months, but you CAN, through inaction, allow a person to suffer an equal amount of torture even if they're BEGGING for release; WHY?!!

To me, the issue of euthanasia is very clear-cut in the case of adults with sound minds; if all they have left to experience in life is agony, let them die with dignity if that's their wish.

Once we get into the areas of children (especially babies), the lower-functioning developmentally-disabled, and those with mental illnesses severe enough to not be able to think for themselves, though, the waters get pretty muddy, because, although we might feel fairly sure that they have no quality of life left when they're in constant pain, how can we KNOW that they don't still cherish every breath they take? After all, plenty of adults with sound minds do NOT want to be euthanized even if their lives are non-stop agony, right? I think that there might well be some cases where even a person with minimal mental capacity could express a desire to end their pain, but a POLICY to just put people like that to death would be an abomination.

And in the case of an infant, with no ability at all to express its desires... we just can't know. It's terrifying to think that infants might be being kept alive in agony for no reason, but what if their survival instinct is making them want to fight to live and we KILL them-isn't that worse? I can see a good case for not giving them endless fruitless medical procedures if they can't actually be saved, as that's only increasing their suffering, and even for not feeding them through a tube so that nature can take its course quickly, as it would without intervention... but nothing should be done to bring death before the child's body would naturally shut down.

As to those doctors who've taken it upon themselves to hand out death sentences to babies without there even being an official policy telling them to do so; if I were ill or injured, I'd rather go to a voodoo witchdoctor than to any of them.

- "There are areas of human... (Below threshold)

- "There are areas of human enterprise I treasure and other actions, plans, and deeds of our species I absolutely abhor....To the extent I am able to balance the bad with the good, I feel myself sane, and a viable contributor to my place in society" -
- Samuel Langhorne Clemens (excerpts from "Innocents Abroad" - 1885)

- Buckle your seat belts people... as density increases and privacy declines we will be called upon to make ever many more life and death choices and it will be hard, frustrating, and ugly. In quieter times Doctors made all the decisions, privacy was the working word. As our science hands us more possibilities we will find some of those paths lead to diabolical problems. When we can justify drilling out the head of an innocent child because of any number of selfish reasons we're not on a slippery slope but a vertical wall into the pits of social hell. Whatever we gain in the short haul we will lose ten thousand fold in the end.....

- Paul - I fully believe you're anthropological prose was not meant in the way some may have taken it. But truth be known there is not a wit of evidence that we have "evolved" a micro inch. Materialism is no arbiter, nor even science and education, since these things just seem to push us further toward the cliff. We may indeed be the animal version of entropy....Not a happy thought I know, but there you are.....

- Deb - You say this is simply too disturbing to comment on.... Well you should be disturbed even at the thought, as all of us should be, and pray we can find the answers when we need them.....

IN DEFENSE OF NEANDERTHA... (Below threshold)
Paul:

IN DEFENSE OF NEANDERTHALS, however, Paul,

Now I've seen everything.... LOL

All socialist medical plans... (Below threshold)
jake:

All socialist medical plans do not have enough money to treat chronically ill patients. The government has to kill them off so that there is money to treat the people with flu.

From the article:"..... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

From the article:
"...a prospect viewed with horror by euthanasia opponents and as a natural evolution by advocates."

Actually, euthanasia opponents view it as a natural evolution, too. Which is why they are so horrified by it.

I mean, c'mon. We all knew this was the next step, right? It will move from euthanizing newborns with incurable diseases to newborns with really-hard-to-cure diseases to newborns with inconvienient diseases.
It will 'progress' from euthanizing for extreme deformities to pretty bad deformities to inconvienient deformities to 'less-than-'perfect'' babies.

It reminds me of the treatm... (Below threshold)
Anonymous:

It reminds me of the treatment of the disabled,
and psychiatric patients by Hitler's Nazi Germany.

That is what scaires me about an overly aggressive
government (either democratic or republican).
We know what is best for you and society.

This is NOT a slippery slop... (Below threshold)
Waffle King:

This is NOT a slippery slope. This is NOT a slippery slope.

Take every four to six hours, as needed, for soothing your conscience. Until they come for you.

"To beg the question" does ... (Below threshold)
dchamil:

"To beg the question" does not mean "to raise the
question". Instead, it means to use circular reasoning,
i. e. to assume what is to be proved.

To conflate what they're do... (Below threshold)
Keith:

To conflate what they're doing here with giving a patient enough pain relief, knowing that there's a strong possibility that the result will be death, is simply wrong.
I do everything I can to ensure that a patient suffers no more pain than absolutely necessary, but to kill a patient in obedience to a government directive is simply murder.Period.

"The guideline says euthana... (Below threshold)
ravenshrike:

"The guideline says euthanasia is acceptable when the child's medical team and independent doctors agree the pain cannot be eased and there is no prospect for improvement, and when parents think it's best."

It isn't just at the whim of the doctors, contrary to most of the comments. Generally unless it's truly hopeless, a parent wouldn't let their child be euthanized.

Keith: Recently, there have... (Below threshold)
julie:

Keith: Recently, there have been several highly publicized cases out of the UK where people claimed that the state was practicing euthanasia on kids by withholding care. This was a lie. In fact, the care was no different then what is offered in the US. Though I disagree with giving pediatric patients a lethal injection, I also disagree with withholding pain meds from terminally ill patients because it may hasten the inevitable. In this story about the Netherlands, the decision is made by the patient's medical team, independent doctors and the parents. It may be euthanasia but I don't know if it qualifies as euthanesia by the state.

I'm sorry I have a very hug... (Below threshold)
Henry:

I'm sorry I have a very huge problem with the way a few of you commenters present it.
There is a difference between active euthanasia and passive euthanasia. Passive euthanasia is "pulling the plug". Active Euthanasia is reaching in and actively killing them. The point is whether without help they will go on living naturally. Those who are on life support, and without life support they will die, pulling the plug is passive euthanasia.

Dr. Kevorkian practiced active euthanasia, which in my mind is murder. Sure they sign on the line saying "kill me", but it still doesn't make it right.

-In reference to the question "Jennifer" placed above.

The Money quote: "The annou... (Below threshold)
AKBIGBOY:

The Money quote: "The announcement by the Groningen Academic Hospital came amid a growing discussion in Holland on whether to legalize euthanasia on people incapable of deciding for themselves whether they want to end their lives - a prospect viewed with horror by euthanasia opponents and as a natural evolution by advocates."

Note that the advocates of this procedure are the ones who view it as a natural evoluton, thus justifying the 'slippery slope' arguments of the other side. Also note that it has taken about three years to go from ' only with a person's consent' to ' those unable to give consent'. Is there any logical reason not to expect that it will one day reach the point of ' those able but unwilling to give their consent'.

This is particularly relevant in countries with large socialized medical systems such as the Netherlands, the UK, and Canada. After all, once this option becomes legally availible - as it surely will, why should the government not just kill you rather than treat your expensive ailment? On the grounds of a wise use of funds, absent any pesky and outmoded moral considerations on the value of human life, it could even be cost justified since the most expensive medical care is generally delivered in the last two years of your life, and that money is probably better spent elsewhere - like buying hookers for the UN staff, and teaching kids how to put condoms on cucumbers and so on.

Unfortunately this is not only happening in Europe. In American Medical Schools and Hospitals a new theory in Bioethics called 'Futile Care Theory' advises hospitals to set up pretty much exactly the same set of protocols as the one described in this article. This hospital looks to be following the same blueprint advised by proponents of Futile Care Theory.

Although hardly scientific, everyone I know who is ardently pro-choice is also pro-assisted suicide (Euthanasia). It's also difficult not to notice that right about the time they had to change the Hippocratic Oath to remove all of those pesky references to abortion (as in making the Dr. promise to not ever do one) something changed in Med Schools. Medical ethics had no bioethicists and a doctor's primary responsability was to the patient as an individual. Now there are professional bioethecists and these people spend most of their time trying to convince the doctors that their main responsability is to society or humanity rather than the patient.

Oh what a brave new world we have made, where the product of our labor makes us more and more afraid.

-->>"In defense of Neandert... (Below threshold)
-S-:

-->>"In defense of Neanderthals..."

For Heaven's sake, Paul and a few others here, lighten up!

The diss -- calling people you disdain as "Neanderthals" -- was made notoriously awful by Teresa Heinz Kerry a month or so ago. She can no longer be "progressive" and call someone "mental" or make a racial slur, she can't remain "progressive" and call someone "poor" or "uncouth" so the last ditch 'acceptability' to liberal progressive language is to use "Neanderthals" to represent some penchant of uncivility.

MY ONLY POINT was that Neanderthals just may have been far more "civil" and actually "progressive" than those today.

But, as to this conversation, if that's what it is, again I write, LIGHTEN UP. It was a tongue in cheek comment by me earlier.

I was curious about the def... (Below threshold)
-S-:

I was curious about the definition of "suffering," however, that some used in this thread. Like being wounded to the point of death is pleasant, by comparison? As I wrote earlier, today's liberal concepts are skewered: that murder and death are less sufferable than is life, in living. That war is vile but murder is alright as long as someone says that they are 'suffering' beforehand.

There is a grave responsibility to taking another person's or one's own life. Which seems to escape some today, which is driving this madness of disregard for life. People who commit suicide commit murder and the fact is, if they're capable of that level of violence against any life, including their own, they are capable of the same violence against others. There's nothing understandable about suicide, or about murdering defenseless life.

ravenshrike:Yes, i... (Below threshold)
-S-:

ravenshrike:

Yes, it is, ultimately, the decision of the physicians. They have to interpret the Administrative Code and implement the acts that result in persons living or being rendered dead.

So, yes, the responsibility rests with the physicians, as to the acts themselves, while the Code that establishes the actions is also responsible. But, without anyone to implement the acts, no one would be put to death. Physicians make legal and ethical interpretations at nearly every point of practice, which is a great part of who they are and how they are trained: to respond to administrative requests and dictates with a medically scientific solution. In THIS case, they're acting out the Administrative orders, but are still the hands that determine the fate.

Maybe my point is made more... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Maybe my point is made more clearly by writing this, in all seriousness now:

It isn't Neanderhals who are "kill(ing) babies." It's the people in the Netherlands who are. Acquainting them with Neanderthals contradicts the point of your editiorializing statements that follow.

That is, the people in the Netherlands are responsible for this behavior. They are. Call it what it is because otherwise I agree with what you've written afterward. Neanderthals probably maintained a civilized society, based upon what's been determined about their societies and physical capabilities, and PROBABLY like many other humans since, cherished and nurtured each new birth both before and after. I bet that the last thing any Neanderthal would have imagined was killing an unborn or birthed child, based upon the necessity for ongoing generations: my earlier point.

Maybe I'm missing something... (Below threshold)
jb:

Maybe I'm missing something. This is just a case of post-partum abortion.

Like Ann Coulter said, if they don't have a high school degree yet, it's still the mother's right to choose.

And hey, this sounds like the answer to the Social Security problem. People only get out of Social Security what they put in, and when they run out, well, it was nice knowing you.

I just have a problem with ... (Below threshold)
Debra:

I just have a problem with conscience here...I can't in clear conscience say or agree that taking the life of a defenseless child who in unable to dictate it's own future is a good thing...An infant cannot discern between right and wrong and certainly doesn't have the ability to express it's desire to live. The sheer will that the child exhibits regardless of it's physical or mental state is indicative of its desire to live though. Who are we to determine a childs fate? Who are we to say that the child is suffering and it's for the best??? If it is fate that the child live then so be it.. Care for the child and seeto the childs needs...Are we that selfish that we can't see past imperfect?

A detailed look at the "sli... (Below threshold)
epador:

A detailed look at the "slippery slope" that German physicians descended half a century ago is Robert Jay Lifton's "The Nazi Doctors." Highly recommended to any before entering abortion or euthanasia debate.

Not an electronic link, but the written word on paper can be powerful too, if no one has burned it.

The "doubling" described by Lifton can be found in any of us that find ourselves supplanting morals and ethics for value and worth. Think about it.

What most of you people are... (Below threshold)
Sherard:

What most of you people are missing is the debate between whether the state - any state - has a duty to support these people or not. My mother works in a nursing home and the hypocrisy of advocating for the "sanctity of life" and the abject outcast nature of the shells of people they keep alive in those facilities is RANK.

There is no essential difference between an elderly patient in horrible pain with no prospects for a normal life and a child in the same position.

You all like to feel morally superior because you "value life" while these nameless faceless doctors apparently do not. But the result of your moral superiority is wards full of people with no life existing through the intervention of those same doctors and nurses, kept alive to suit your feeling of self worth and nothing whatsoever to do with what is in the interest of a terminally ill or in pain patient. Congratulations on that.

Sherard, no.This i... (Below threshold)

Sherard, no.

This isn't about whether the state has a duty to support them, it's about who has the right to decide that some other person's life isn't worth living.

They're not executing criminals, they're murdering innocent people. In the name of "what's best for the state."

And that's as close to invoking Godwin's Law as I care to get.

Sherard, having spent a lon... (Below threshold)
Tim in PA:

Sherard, having spent a long time around the health care field (nursing homes in particular), I agree that many elderly patients have no quality of life. That's a bit of a different subject, though; those people can make living wills beforehand, get DNR orders, and refuse beforehand invasive life support methods. Their relatives can also follow through with their wishes and "pull the plug". Voluntary euthanasia among the elderly is another issue, one I have not thought enough about to really comment on. But my point is, the elderly have options, and they can to an extent make a choice -- they state does not make that choice for them.

What people are concerned about here with this thing in the Netherlands, is that the infants do not have a choice. (seems like an echo of the pro-life position) Should the parents be able to make a decision to "pull the plug"? I think so, in my opinion. Should the parents be able to decide to actively euthanize? I'm glad that isn't my decision, because I really don't know.

But what I do know, is that getting the state involved in a decision like that is a horrible idea. It doesn't seem clear from the article who makes the decision, however:

" a legal framework for permitting doctors to actively end the life of newborns "

Who deems the newborn fit to to be euthanized? The doctor does. This is the state giving a third party the legal right to determine that a newborn should be euthanized. It doesn't matter if, initially, it is the parents' decision. How long do you think it would be until someone refuses to have their mortally ill and suffering child euthanized, and they get taken to court by some euro equivalent of CPS? What happens if one parent wants to, and one does not? What if there are no known or living parents?

This will be a disaster.

One of the Drs. in question... (Below threshold)

One of the Drs. in question was on NPR this morning and he made it clear that it isn't the hospital or the Drs. that arbitrarily make this decision whether or not to euthanize. The parents or legal guardians ultimately make the final call. It's not like the hospitals are going to start euthanizing mental deficients just because they can.

Of the four babies euthanized they all had severe, incurable maladies (such as spinal bifida) and the decision was made with their parents.

Just hoping to clear things up a bit as the initial reports were not entirely clear.

"...he made it clear that i... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

"...he made it clear that it isn't the hospital or the Drs. that arbitrarily make this decision.." Not yet.

"It's not like the hospitals are going to start euthanizing mental deficients just because they can.'

Not yet.

Michael Diaz wrote: Of t... (Below threshold)

Michael Diaz wrote: Of the four babies euthanized they all had severe, incurable maladies (such as spinal bifida) and the decision was made with their parents.

I believe I can withdraw my objection, to the extent that this is the case. However, I'm also sympathetic to Mr. Nessman's sentiment. Some ideas just have to be resisted forever, I guess, for the good of one's own conscience.

Good, then. Terrible as th... (Below threshold)
Tim in PA:

Good, then. Terrible as that kind of decision has to be, it's better that the state is keeping out it. For now.

The state getting into that, coupled with, say, that recent Berkeley study labeling "conservatism" as mental illness, should give you pause.

Its no matter if a person i... (Below threshold)
Cynthia:

Its no matter if a person is born with defects.God sees all human life the same.A beautiful creation that only He has the right to take back.Any person who takes the life of a child will answer to God when they die,Make no mistake about it.People pay big bucks to have a child.I think there wouldnt be so many abortions if they were made illegal again.And for those who keep having abortion after abortion,,,I think that they should be sterilized after the first one so they cant reproduce again.Any woman who would stand back and let someone kill her child is not only a complete heartless and selfish human but is also not fit to breed.Give them the next euthanizing shot..

If you think the decision m... (Below threshold)
Edwin:

If you think the decision making about euthanasia in the Netherlands has ANYTHING to do with money you are more morally decayed than we'll ever be.

Apparently money has taken over reason in your lives already. Not in ours, thank you.

Never and nowhere the Dutch government decides who is to die and who isn't. It still is a very thought out process between doctor and parents (in the case of newborns). Painstaking and devastating as it is, they try to keep the best interest of the baby in mind. Do you think any child will be killed without consent of the parents. Do you really believe parents are pushed into consent out of economic reasons? Do you really believe Dutch parents are relieved they can solve a problem easily, that that is the way we view our children?

Of course, religious beliefs and moral values feed the decision to pull the plug or end the suffering actively, but if you think that Dutch parents see their babies as disposable objects, you have a very skewed and indeed infantile view on the matter.

The government does not interfere with the decision making process, it only clearly states the way these decisions will be held against the law and wether they will be prosecuted or not in the court.

Why don't you really get informed and come and see how many really die through euthanasia over here and how those deaths came to be. You wouldn't see horror, you would just see desperation on how to say goodbye to a loved one you know you have to let go, in the manner that feels right to you.

Well said, EdwinWe... (Below threshold)
Matthijs:

Well said, Edwin

We are talking about children that cannot live without support, will live a few days to a few weeks at most, with no chance of recovery, and with great suffering.
Yes, the doctor will actively kill the infant (about 10 cases a year) with drugs and will not be prosecuted, but he or she will do so with the permission of the parents, and will have to clarify his decision to the management of the hospital.

It is a natural thing that has happened since the dawn of civilization, in every country in the world, one way or the other.
The difference is that the Dutch government has made this legal, so it can be discussed, and viewed, and controlled, and does not need to be done in secret.

Holland is honest. It happe... (Below threshold)
pieter:

Holland is honest. It happens everywhere. It is the same as prostitution, by making it legal, you controle the matter.

What amazes me is that the ... (Below threshold)
Tinus:

What amazes me is that the persons who think euthanasia is not wright often feel the death penalty is, since most of the time there are religious arguments involved.

For the people that are concerned, I can add that it is alright to be critical and find out more about it. Let me clear up one thing; it is not up to the doctors to make the descision, it is up to more people, including the parents. And I can't stress enough that there are strict regulations involved. Someone can not be killed just because he has blue eyes for instance.

It is the policy of many Americans to not deal with the problems but to leave them be, or to face them agressively (drugs, terrorism, pregnancy's trough rape, weapon control etc). "Your" approach is not the only one! Please stay open for discussion...

Martijn van Well
The Netherlands

Most people rush to their c... (Below threshold)
Sandro:

Most people rush to their conclusion before reading the whole article. Than they go screaming insults and so on.

Euthanasia is a difficult subject, even here in Holland. The laws on euthanasia are still in an early stage of development. Also here in Holland. Doctors have often regrets when performing euthanasia, because of the presecution that follows. They feel they did the right thing, but still get prosecuted and even sentenced. That is how it has always been and this how it was for the euthanasialaws were made in Holland. Even with the laws doctors have a great risk of being prosecuted when performing euthanasia.

The problem of euthanasia is not only here in Holland. It is all over the world. The difference is that it is reported here, and in most cases not prosecuted. While in other countries it is done in secret. Some people here make it seem that doctors can take a drug and perform euthanasia at will. This is not true and the doctor in question will be prosecuted for murder. I am not for euthanasia, im not against it. It is a difficult case were in some cases u wish it could be performed on a legal basis.

People who have to deal with this in real life are constantly fighting with it. It takes grieve, pain and courage to think about it for them. U guys make them sound like criminals.

Plz when posting comments and articles don't be so narrowminded and do some proper research and reading. Don't flame me for bad English or for my arguments, instead try to make up some reasons for being against this law and against our country.

a worried world citizen
a worried Hollander

Sandro Mantione

In addition to the comments... (Below threshold)
Coen de graaf(netherlands):

In addition to the comments of edwin and matthijs which i agree with, i would like to make a point about those same monetary issues, and about quantative issues.

Child mortality rates in 2002
Deaths per 1000 children before the age of 5
USA: 8
Netherlands 5
Source: Unicef, 2004

That should show where children are more likey to survive.

"However, experts acknowledge that doctors euthanize routinely in the United States and elsewhere, but that the practice is hidden.

"Measures that might marginally extend a child's life by minutes or hours or days or weeks are stopped. This happens routinely, namely, every day," said Lance Stell, professor of medical ethics at Davidson College in Davidson, N.C., and staff ethicist at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, N.C. "Everybody knows that it happens, but there's a lot of hypocrisy. Instead, people talk about things they're not going to do."

More than half of all deaths occur under medical supervision, so it's really about management and method of death, Stell said. "
Source:http://apnews.myway.com/article/20041130/D86MEAA80.html

So it happens in the USA, but they just dont tell anyone about it.

"A new report from international agency Oxfam today reveals that 45 million more children will die needlessly by 2015, because rich countries are failing to provide the necessary resources to overcome poverty."
Source:
http://www.oxfam.org.uk/press/releases/mdgs_price061204.htm

The Netherlands are providing the agreed 0.7% of GNP as agreed, the USA are paying less then 0.3% of GNP. Who cares more about the lives of children abroad?

10.7% of U.S. children have no Health insurance(source:CDC), lack of health insurance results in a 25% increased risk of death(source:a.o Linda J. Blumberg and David W. Liska, The Uninsured in the United States: A Status Report (Washington, DC: Urban Institute, April 1996))

In general, the conclusion is that imho the USA should worry more about their own decisions that let children die, because the data clearly shows that more work can and must be done in that area.
The USA spends more money then any other country on health care but it does not show in the numbers.

These comments were however only in part about the topic at hand, child euthanisia. This moral issue, is live always preferable above death is a very personal one. I personally say no, death might be better in some circumstances. If I knew that I only had a month to live at the most, I would be in agonizing pain all the way, anti-pain medication would not help, then I would be happy to take my own live, or begging others to do so.
Should you make it possible that people that cannot make that kind of decision on their own be killed under certain circumstances?
I say, hesitantly, yes. There should be very explicit rules, procedures, and checks and balances, and severe punishment if the rules are not followed to the letter. And that precisely is my main objection to the practice of euthanisia today in The Netherlands. It is not policed enough by hospitals and other medical institions, not enough pressure on MD's to use euthanisia rules instead of terminal sedation(which is the standard practice in countries where euthanisia is forbidden) and not enough education on euthanisia to MD's so they are not as afraid to be prosecuted for doing the right thing(imho).

To conclude: if you look at the numbers, i would say that the Dutch government cares more about the children then you might think.

what i was wondering is whe... (Below threshold)
matthieu de west:

what i was wondering is where the newspapers got there information.
not a single person overe here in the netherlands has ever heard enything about this socaled groninger protocal.
i mean come on , something this big would be big news over here to but not a single newspaper or televisionstation reported it
don't you think that it is kind of strange that only the american newspapers did report on this ??

and then there's that so called collumnist called cal thomas
his collumn on foxnews.com really offended more then just a few dutch

killing baby's that don't meet up to the standerds , all drugs that are decriminalized ( yeah right like mushrooms and marihuana are all drugs ) , hookers on every corner of the street , thousands of radicle muslims thanks tothe open border policy AND the best of all
the dutch were the nazi's that killed ann frank , in the netherland to non the less

well if there was ever been any bigger load of crap written then this has to be it

point one
there is no such thing al killing baby's that don't meet the standerd going on over here
euthenesia is just like anywhere else a very delicate subject
docters here live by strikt rules en regulations to you know.
if they would ever do anything like this the would be prosicuited with out a doubt

and remember that euthenesia is going on everywhere in the world , even in america
but everybody keeps this quite

point 2
the decriminalisation of all drugs
this is realy another big bunch of BS
the only drugs that are legal here ( and only in realy small numbers by the way ) are mushrooms and pot
like in every other country drug like coke , crack , speed and everything els is illegal
however by legalizing pot and mushrooms , the law can keep it under controle so that there will be no mass dealing going on
and there is only a select few places where you can buy it , it is not like that you can get it everywhere you like
it is often heard here that the police have arrested people who have been growing weed , wich is a good this right ??
and don't forget that when comparing numbers , america has a much bigger % of drugdealers and addicts then the netherlands has
seems to me that our policy towards drug has a bigger and better effect then the americans .

then there is this hookers on every corner of the street thing
well i can tell you that throughout this country there are only a few streets where prostitutes can work.
and besides the ar now legal so the can be controled by the gouvermant , checked for decises
pay takses and more
so there's no problem here of hookers working illigaly on every corner of the street , something that again is happening in the usa

on to the next point shall we
the socalled thousands of muslim radicalists
well sofar our aivd ( the dutch equalivent of the fbi or cia ) has counted as many as 150 who are under strickt observation
i can hardly call that thousands now can i
yes our gouvermant has made misstakes when it comes to political and economical refugees , but doesn't every gouvermant
it's not like you can controle everything

now on to the ann frank thing
what the hell is that all about
it sounds like the dutch where the ones that killed here in the netherlands , while it seems to me that is it a historical fact that we where ocupide during the war
and besides it where the germans that deported her to auswich , and she did not even die because the shot here or something like that , she died because of disies en starvation.

in short this cal thomas calls us dutch babymurdering , drugusing , prostituting , terroristloving nazikillers

now that is not fair is it
everything he has stated is wrong
he should have looked at the problems america is facing before going on a rampage against us

in america there ar much more drugusers and dealers than over here.

way more killings every day then over the course of a year in the netherlands.

guns can be bought allmost everywhere in the usa , and it's even legal to have a gun , while here you can not buy them and there illegal to have to

the problem with prostitutes ar much bigger in your country then they ar over here

and another thing

why is your gouvermant so keen on going to war over everything
do they not realise that most of the wars the fight ar caused by actions they themselfs ar responsible for
if euthenesia is a crime then so is killing thousands of inocent iraques an afghanees ( and i supose the forgot about vietnam and korea to )

i have notised over the course of a few years now that the american gouvermant is trying to controle everything that is going on in the world often making things wors then they already are
the first and second gulfwars being perfect examples

now i don't blame the citisens of america
but if there is one place that should be invaded it has to be the whitehouse and the pentagon

i strongly want to encourige the american people to look at what there president and gouvermant is doing and start protesting asap , because if you let them go on there buissnes it will eventualy mean the distruction of the world

with kind regards
m.j de west ( a conserned dutchman )


ow and forgive the typing e... (Below threshold)
matthieu de west:

ow and forgive the typing erros
my english is not perfect




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