‘Wholesale Killing of Children’: Leading U.S. Bioethicist Pledges Support for Child Euthanasia

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By Will Maule, Faithwire, March 8, 2018

A leading American bioethicist has backed a Dutch law that eradicates all age limits for euthanasia – meaning children can be medically, and legally, executed. Presently, euthanasia in The Netherlands is legal starting at age 12. You would expect that American experts would be appalled by this law, but that’s not the case. U.S. Ethics Professor Margaret P. Battin actively supports it, and essentially advocates for the Groningen Protocol.

The Protocol contains directives with criteria under which physicians can perform “active ending of life on infants” without fear of prosecution.

“I generally support [the] change in Dutch law governing eligibility for euthanasia.‍ Given that euthanasia is currently legal for infants <1 year of age and children and adults >12 years of age, I believe that opponents would have to show evidence that at least 1 and perhaps many of the following propositions are true if they are to persuade you [a hypothetical Dutch health minister] not to support the change in the law,” Prof. Battin said in a roundtable discussion on the issue in the Pediatrics journal.

Battin then lists a few shocking propositions that must be proved wrong, one of which being, “parents aren’t harmed by seeing their children suffer.” So, if a parent feels that they are suffering from the sight of their child going through pain, it is OK to “put them down.”

Another concerning proposition:

“That pediatricians can’t understand the difference between killing a healthy, curable child and hastening a bad death that is already in progress.”

But perhaps the most shocking is this:

“That allowing this practice would lead to wholesale killing of children from 1 to 12 years of age.”

What Battin is saying, then, is that the euthanasia of children is justified as long as it does not become a “blanket killing” of all children who are deemed to be disabled.

“That it is always wrong to end a life.‍ (Proponents of this view would need to address situations such as killing in war, killing in self-defense, killing in defense of others, and [more controversially] capital punishment; they would also need to oppose current laws in The Netherlands that allow euthanasia for children <1 year of age and adults >18 years of age,” she adds as a final proposition.

In response to this final proposition, Wesley J. Smith at the National Review wrote: “So, since babies and children age 12 and up can be killed, the Dutch should go all-in. Or to put it another way, once a society starts down Euthanasia Road, there is no stopping.”

Indeed, Smith points out the deafening silence in response to this horrific discussion.

“It’s a very big deal that a respected Dutch medical journal such as Pediatrics hosted a debate on the ethical propriety of child euthanasia without international criticism. It means that among the medical intelligentsia, child euthanasia has become a respectable proposition,” he concluded.

As Faithwire previously reported, in January The Netherlands allowed the assisted death of a 29-year-old woman who was suffering from mental health problems. Aurelia Brouwers claimed she was excited about leaving her “rotten life” of psychiatric disorder and emotional pain before she was injected with a lethal cocktail of drugs.

Aurelia suffered from borderline personality disorder from a young age and often heard voices in her head. She would experience episodes of psychosis and severe depression. After a long battle for the right to die, she was granted permission at the turn of the new year. “I think that after such a rotten life I am entitled to a dignified death – people who have a serious illness get a chance for a worthy ending, so why is it so difficult for people who are psychologically [ill]?” she said.

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