Hugh Hewitt tips us to the ongoing erosion of the right to life. The Netherlands is currently debating whether it should soon be permissible for doctors to arrogate to themselves the legal right to kill children up to the age of twelve if they deem them to be in terrible pain and terminally ill. Parents' wishes will, of course, be considered, but the ultimate decision rests with doctors. Previously, Dutch law only allowed for euthanasia of patients older than twelve.
The following is the first part of an article describing the Groningen Protocol, a set of guidelines for an experimental policy allowing child euthanasia.
Hewitt asserts that, "There are three kinds of people in the world: Those who will react with horror and alarm to this story; those who will applaud it; and those who will shrug it off as of no interest to them. I am uncertain which of the latter two groups is in worse moral condition."
The crucial question here is what safeguards are in place to insure that the policy won't gradually evolve to eventually permit euthanasia of children born to poor families or emotionally distraught mothers or children whose prospects are otherwise bleak? How will doctors be prevented from killing children whose lives they simply deem to be insufficiently pleasant?
The trend here is very disturbing, not less so because the motives for legalizing child euthanasia seem so compassionate.