December 19, 2014
Euthanasia of newborns with disabilities
As mentioned by Andrew Coyne, Canadian professor Udo Schuklenk advances that with parental consent, the euthanasia of newborns with disabilities can be justified in some cases. Sadly, this practice is already occurring in Holland and Belgium. In a seven year span 22 babies with spina bifida were euthanized in Holland. A survey of Dutch neonatologists published in the Lancet of April 2005 found that there were 15 to 20 cases of infant euthanasia a year. There were 17 cases of infant euthanasia by administration of lethal drugs in Flanders, Belgium in a one year period according to another study in the Lancet.
Doctors have at their disposal the means to provide pain relief without resorting to euthanasia. If the condition is not fatal, an infant with proper care will continue to live.
The notion that others can decide if a life is worth living is truly frightening. Killing the child based on an assessment of his quality of life and future prospects is eugenics thinly disguised as compassion.
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