1601 N. Tucson Blvd. Suite 9
Tucson, AZ 85716-3450
Phone: (800) 635-1196
Hotline: (800) 419-4777
Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Inc.
A Voice for Private Physicians Since 1943
Omnia pro aegroto

News of the Day ... in Perspective


Dutch doctors propose criteria for “euthanizing” disabled newborns

Two Dutch physicians have published guidelines known as the “Groningen protocol” for ending the lives of babies born with a prospect of “unbearable suffering” or a poor quality of life (N Engl J Med 2005;352:959-962).

Drs. Verhagen and Sauer stated that they were simply trying to bring a measure of accountability to acts that are occurring every day.

The proposed “strict guidelines” include full and informed consent of parents, the agreement of a team of physicians, and a subsequent review of each case by an “independent legal body” (NY Times 3/10/05).

In late 2004, a Netherlands hospital began carrying out these “procedures” without waiting for any official review or approval.

Physicians reported 22 cases of euthanasia of babies born with spina bifida between 1997 and 2004. Prosecutors dismissed all cases after judicial review. Dutch doctors estimate that at least five newborn mercy killings occur for every one that is reported (AP 3/9/05).

If the baby has a “long life expectancy,” then the burden of establishing other factors (lack of self-sufficiency, severe pain, future inability to communicate, and expected hospital dependency) is considered greater. Additional information:

Newborn euthanasia underreported. - Cnn.com

“Auschwitz in America” by William Federer, WorldNetDaily 10/18/03

“On euthanasia,” AAPS News, November 1991.

Comparison between Oath of Hippocrates and other oaths

News of the Day Archive