The Netherlands has approved euthanasia for children under 12

NETHERLANDS – LEGISLATION

The Dutch government has announced an extension of existing euthanasia laws for terminally ill children aged one to 12, INSIDER reports. According to a press release from the Ministry of Health, up to ten such cases are recorded each year in the Netherlands.

The Netherlands has approved euthanasia for children under 12

The Dutch government has announced an extension of existing euthanasia laws for terminally ill children aged one to 12, INSIDER reports. According to a press release from the Ministry of Health, up to ten such cases are recorded each year in the Netherlands.

“This is a particularly complex issue that deals with very severe situations. I am pleased that after intensive consultations with all stakeholders we have come to a solution through which we can help these terminally ill children, their parents,” stressed Dutch Health Minister Ernst Kuijpers.

According to Köypers, the decision on euthanasia will only affect critically ill children whose death is inevitable.

Legalisation of euthanasia in the Netherlands

The Netherlands was the first country in the world to legalize euthanasia, a practice that was decriminalized in 2002.

To ensure that doctors are not held liable when carrying out euthanasia, they must be convinced that the patient’s request is voluntary and that their “suffering is intolerable and has no prospect of improvement”.

The latest government figures show that 7,666 people were euthanised in the Netherlands in 2021, accounting for 4.5% of all deaths in the country. More than 60% of these people were suffering from incurable cancer.

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