Saturday, October 24, 2020

Medically assisted dying, at any age, in the Netherlands

 The NY Times has the story:

Netherlands to Allow Doctors to Help End Lives of Terminally Ill Children--Hugo de Jonge, the Dutch health minister, said that “incurably ill” children ages 1 to 12 should be able to die with the help of a doctor.  By Maria Cramer and Claire Moses

"The Dutch government announced plans this week to allow doctors to end the lives of terminally ill children who are under 13 years old, a decision that is bound to inflame the debate over physician-assisted death.

"The Netherlands already allows doctors to facilitate the deaths of people who are over 12 or less than a year old as long as parents have given their consent.

"In a letter to parliament on Tuesday, the Dutch health minister, Hugo de Jonge, proposed expanding the law to include children between the ages of 1 and 12 who are dying and suffering.

“In a small number of cases, palliative care isn’t sufficient,” Mr. de Jonge wrote. “Because of that, some children suffer unnecessarily without any hope of improvement.”


"Three other European countries — Luxembourg, Belgium and Switzerland — allow physician-assisted death, though the laws differ in each country. Belgium allows children to die with the help of a doctor, but in Luxembourg, the law is restricted to adults with an incurable medical condition.

"Canada, parts of Australia and Colombia have also legalized physician-assisted death for adults in certain cases.


"Eight states and Washington, D.C., have laws that allow mentally competent adults with a terminal illness and six months or less to live to obtain prescription medication that will hasten their deaths, according to Death With Dignity, an Oregon-based nonprofit that supports such laws."


The first link above is to this Gallup Poll report:

MAY 31, 2018,  Americans' Strong Support for Euthanasia Persists  BY MEGAN BRENAN

"72% say doctors should be able to help terminally ill patients die

"Fewer, 65%, express support when the question includes "commit suicide"

"54% think doctor-assisted suicide is morally acceptable"

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