Dutch cardinal warns against euthanasia of children

Women opposed to euthanasia in the Netherlands hold a sign that says ‘Life is in God’s hands’ (CNS/Michael Kooren, Reuters)

A Dutch cardinal says proposals to amend Dutch law to allow the euthanasia of children represent the latest descent down the “slippery slope” of the killing of patients by doctors. Source: Crux.

The practice of euthanasia would continue to widen to include broader categories of people who would qualify for lethal injections, Cardinal Willem Eijk of Utrecht, Netherlands predicted in an October 23 email to CNS.

“This is perhaps not the last step in euthanasia, but may lead to other steps,” said Cardinal Eijk, a former doctor.

“The slippery slope observed in the Dutch euthanasia discussion should be pointed out,” he said. “At the beginning of the 1980s, euthanasia in the terminal phase of a physical illness was considered acceptable, later also before the terminal phase.

“In the 1990s, euthanasia was also applied to psychiatric disorders and dementia. From the beginning of this century onward, it was applied to disabled newborns (children from birth until the age of one year), and soon also with children from one to 12 years old.”

“Those who perform active termination of life because of a certain form of suffering let go of the principle that life is an essential value,” he continued. “As a result, one will again and again be faced with the question of whether ending life with a lesser form of suffering should not also be allowable.”

“The history of the euthanasia debate over the last 40 years shows that the criteria for performing euthanasia have been extended further and further,” he said. “Won’t the same thing happen in the long run with regard to euthanasia in children?”


Dutch cardinal: Euthanasia for children continues ‘slippery slope’ (By Simon Caldwell, CNS via Crux

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