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Wednesday, December 01, 2004

The Dutch Are Crazy: It Is Inhumane To Execute Murderers But Not Disabled Newborns

Following up my post regarding "mercy killing" of newborns in the Netherlands, it is imperative that you read this article fleshing out what is referred to as the "Groningen University Hospital protocol." This stuff is truly frightening and the devil is in the details: "Under the Groningen protocol, if doctors at the hospital think a child is suffering unbearably from a terminal condition, they have the authority to end the child's life. The protocol is likely to be used primarily for newborns, but it covers any child up to age 12." [emphasis mine] "A parent's role is limited under the protocol. While experts and critics familiar with the policy said a parent's wishes to let a child live or die naturally most likely would be considered, they note that the decision must be professional, so rests with doctors." [emphasis mine] "Dutch doctors have some intentional role in 3.4 percent of all deaths, according to statistics published in the medical journal The Lancet. About 0.6 percent are patients who didn't ask to be euthanized, the journal said." [emphasis mine] "Opponents of expanding euthanasia to the young cite a recent Dutch court ruling against punishment for a doctor who injected fatal drugs into an elderly woman after she told him she didn't want to die. The court determined that he'd made "an error of judgment," but had acted "honorably and according to conscience." [emphasis mine] I don't know what to say. This is truly shocking. Let's set aside issues of religion and morality for the moment. Does it occur to anyone that having a panel or review board or whatever you want to call it making decisions on who should or should not live smacks of eugenics? Or the justifications used in Nazi Germany? Does it not outrage anyone that the wishes of a parent of a disabled child up to the age of 12 will only be "considered" but are not determinative? The decision as to who should live and who should die is being shifted from the individual to the state. Can this be a good thing under any set of circumstances? Now, I know some clever person is thinking that the state does make that decision when it comes to criminal penalties. Well, not in the Netherlands where the death penalty has been abolished for all crimes since 1982. So, the Dutch status quo is that the state is not permitted to take the life of a murderer of children no matter how heinous the nature of the acts, but is empowered to take the life of the innocent child if it so chooses. Please explain that to me.

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