It will soon be legal to Euthanise, also known as ‘assisted suicide’ or ‘murder’ depending on perspective, children with certain terminal illnesses in the Netherlands.
Authorities in the Netherlands are to make changes to the country’s euthanasia laws in order to allow parents to end the life of their terminally ill children.
It comes amid attempts by other Western states to expand the legality of assisted suicide in their countries, with Canada seemingly pushing taking one’s own life as a solution to the likes of mental health problems such as PTSD.
While the Netherlands has denied the legalisation of assisted suicide for now, the country’s government has agreed to legislate for the euthanising of specific terminally ill children aged between 1 and 12.
According to a report by NOS, the government has insisted the measure will only be accessible for children in particularly acute circumstances, suffering from a severe terminal illness that will lead to their inevitable death.
“It will concern children with such a serious illness or disorder that death is inevitable and the death of these children is expected in the foreseeable future,” a statement from the cabinet on the change reportedly said.
Meanwhile, Dutch Health Minister Ernst Kuipers that the legislation will eventually affect a tiny number of children, with the official expecting there to be no more than five or ten children every year in a position to need or benefit from euthanasia.
All cases requiring the euthanisation of a child over the age of one and below 12 will go to a special council committed to examining such cases, which is set to be led by a criminal lawyer in the country.
Government authorities in the Netherlands broke the news in a somewhat deliberate manner, insisting that — should any element of the changes need to go to a vote — individual MPs in the national parliament will not be obliged to follow a party line, but be allowed to vote with their conscience.
The country has so far shunned the legalisation of assisted suicide, with an endeavor by one activist to contend that taking one’s life is a human right so far failing to win over the Dutch courts.
Things are very different in other Western nations, however, with Canada in particular zealously rolling out medically assisted suicide within its health system as a solution to various ailments, ranging from mental health problems to even homelessness.
“This country is on the verge of providing publicly funded euthanasia for people suffering from diseases for which there is little publicly funded care,” one publication in the country warned last December, after the government further loosened restrictions on availing of a medically-induced death.
“Lurking over this country is the specter of a public insurance system that does not cover such basic treatments as psychotherapy, that underspends on mental health compared to peer countries, and that is failing to provide adequate community support and housing for people with chronic mental disorders,” the Globe and Mail publication continued.
“It will also shortly become a country that provides medically assisted deaths to people who can’t access the very things that might make their lives more bearable,” it went on to say.
Despite the warning, a further extension of the service to so-called “mature minors” is being contemplated, with a parliamentary committee pushing to permit children to request a medically assisted death if a natural one is “reasonably foreseeable”.
In one shocking instance, an army veteran that went to a military clinic for help with post-traumatic stress (PTSD) was offered assisted suicide by a Veterans Affairs employee, despite having shown no suicidal tendencies. The Veterans Affairs office later wrote to the former soldier to apologise after complaints were raised several times.
— Constitutionalist ? ?? (@Kc_Casey1) April 17, 2023
Netherlands announced today that it will expand its right-to-die-policy to include children between the ages of 1 and 12.
Nearly 9000 deaths in the Netherlands in 2022 were from Euthanasia, or nearly 5% of all the deaths in the country that year. pic.twitter.com/ZWxJHOpnWU
— Visegrád 24 (@visegrad24) April 14, 2023
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