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Killing Newborns in the Netherlands

The march toward routine killing of newborns in the Netherlands moves forward, and one of the doctors leading the charge is amazingly candid about his involvement in killing babies. Dr. Eduard Verhagen, a pediatrician at the Groningen Hospital, told a British television audience last night that he operates above the reach of the law: “We know the law says you are not allowed to kill anyone against their will. We also know death can be more humane than continued life if it involves extreme suffering. We are facing patients, and their parents, who we think should be given the option of actively ending their lives.” Verhagen is one of the authors of the “Groningen Protocol” for the killing of newborns. [See "Euthanasia for Newborns--Killing in the Netherlands," my commentary on the Groningen Protocol. In the British interview, Verhagen chillingly described his observations as euthanized babies. He said, "In the last minutes or seconds you see the pain relax and they fall asleep . . . At the end, after the lethal injection, their fists are unclenched and there is relief for everyone in the room. Finally, they get what they should have been given earlier." Thus speaks the agent of professionalized death in the nursery. Source: The Times of London, April 26, 2005. [subscription required]