UK: Doctors urge ‘active euthanasia’ for disabled babies

And we’re not talking about the ones still in the womb. If this is what constitutes “progressive” values, count me out:

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecology has put forward the option of permitting mercy killings of the sickest infants to a review of medical ethics.

It says “active euthanasia” should be considered for the overall benefit of families who would otherwise suffer years of emotional and financial suffering.

Deliberate action to end infants’ lives may also reduce the number of late abortions, since it would allow women the chance to decide whether their disabled child should live.

“A very disabled child can mean a disabled family. If life-shortening and deliberate interventions to kill infants were available, they might have an impact on obstetric decision-making,” the college writes in a submission to the Nuffield Council on Bioethics.

“We would like the working party to think more radically about non-resuscitation, withdrawal of treatment decisions, the best interests test, and active euthanasia, as they are ways of widening the management options available to the sickest of newborns.”


Dr Pieter Sauer, co-author of the Groningen Protocol, the guidelines governing infant euthanasia in the Netherlands, said British medics already carry out mercy killings and should be allowed to do so in the open. “English neonatologists gave me the indication that this is happening.”

Got that? They’re already doing something that is illegal and immoral, and dammit, they should be allowed to do it in the open without fear of facing the consequences in a court of law.

But the paper quoted John Wyatt, consultant neonatologist at University College Hospital, as saying: “Intentional killing is not part of medical care… once you introduce the possibility of intentional killing you change the fundamental nature of medicine. It becomes a subjective decision of whose life is worthwhile.”

Simone Aspis of the British Council of Disabled People said: “Euthanasia for disabled newborns tells society that being born disabled is a bad thing. If we introduced euthanasia for certain conditions, it would tell adults with those conditions that they are worth less than other members of society.”

Sounds like there are a few (too few) voices of sanity on this issue in the UK. I’ll be very eager to read about the results of the “ethics review” for this proposed “option.” I’m usually reluctant to throw the Hitler card on the table, but I can’t resist doing so here because what the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecology are suggesting sounds all too familar.

Hat tip to Gina Cobb, who has posted a powerful must-read piece on the issue of ‘active euthanasia’ – please take the time to read it at some point today.



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