(National Post) The coalition government of the Netherlands has moved to make euthanasia legal in the case of terminally ill children under the age of 12.
Health Minister Hugo de Jonge has said he will draft legislation to allow the practice. The government, made up of four parties, had long been split on the matter, with Christian parties the Christian Democrat Appeal party and ChristenUnie initially united against the move.
The switch is expected to soon take effect and would free doctors from prosecution in what medical experts had called a grey area for children in that age bracket. The Netherlands already allows euthanasia in older kids, as well as for newborns up to a year old, should their parents consent. The new change, the Guardian reports, would likely involve between five and 10 children every year.
Minister De Jonge, the Guardian reports, said the change would help “a small group of terminally ill children who agonise with no hope, and unbearable suffering.”
The children impacted can receive palliative care, or have food withheld to usher in death…
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Editor’s Note. This article was written by a Staff Writer and published at the National Post
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