Over a Third of Child Deaths in Holland Hastened by Doctors

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Two new reports from the Netherlands show a staggering prevalence of physicial assisted "suicide" and euthanasia among children.

The first study was based on questionnaires that followed death certificates:

The death certificate study showed that 36% of all deaths of children between the ages of 1 and 17 years in the study period were preceded by an ELD (Table 1). Of all deaths, 12% concerned a nontreatment decision and 21%, the use of drugs to alleviate pain or other symptoms with a possible life-shortening effect. Some 2.7% of all deaths involved physician-assisted dying, of which 0.7% took place at the request of the patient (euthanasia) and 2.0% did not. The latter cases were all performed at the explicit request of the family.

The second was direct interviews with doctors:

In the interviews, 76 of the most recent cases in which an ELD had preceded the death of a child were discussed: 20 cases of physician-assisted dying where a drug was used with the explicit intention to hasten death, 12 cases of deep sedation while forgoing artificial nutrition or hydration, and 44 cases of nontreatment decisions (Table 3) (Figure). In 2 of the cases of physician-assisted dying, the decision was made at the explicit request of the child; 1 of these concerned a case of euthanasia performed by a family doctor in which the respondent was involved. Another 16 cases followed an explicit request for physician-assisted death by the parents, of which 2 respondents reported having been involved in cases where a family doctor had ended a child’s life. In 2 other cases, the decision was made without an explicit request from either the child or the parents.

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2 Comments

You 'right-to-lifeers' kill me. We've overpopulated our planet to the brink of our own extinction. We've undermined public health with "managed" care, and b/pig pharm and insurance corporations.

I've survived brain cancer and live with AIDS. I think I have earned the right to decide when enough is enough.

"Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness" are the promise and shouldn't be just a life-sentence.

Thanks for commenting Mac.

Notably absent from your response was any recognition of the fact that it was those under 17 who were deciding "enough is enough" or having it decided for them by their parents in most cases or in a few, by the doctors themselves. You also suggest that this is somehow connected with overpopulation, which is puzzling, since the population in the Netherlands is declining. Actually even the parts of the UN are starting to admit that the "population bomb" is a myth:

http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/wpm/wpm2001.pdf

I sincerely hope you don't kill yourself Mac, but in fact no one can prevent that as long as you are sufficiently motivated to do so. But even if you don't find it morally wrong in the traditional sense, it is a grave and difficult act, and not at all a dignified end of life scenario under the best of circumstances.

However PAS and euthanasia are apparently cheaper than good palliative care, and the right to die movement uses these "living hell" scenarios to justify their agenda when other alternatives are available.

Please keep one thing in mind Mac. Along with "help" in physician assisted suicide comes loss of control of your final days. Beware of giving up your choice for an agenda that's "best for everyone involved"




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