News Roundup [abridged Versions Appear In The Paper Journal]

Dutch doctors call for new approach to reporting “mercy killings”

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.329.7466.591-a (Published 09 September 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:591
  1. Tony Sheldon
  1. Utrecht

    Dutch paediatricians are urging that all decisions taken to hasten the death of babies born with severe multiple handicaps should be reported initially to committees of doctors and lawyers after the child's death rather than directly to the coroner's office, as currently required under Dutch law.

    The Dutch Paediatric Society believes this approach would be less threatening than the current requirement, and thinks it would encourage the more frequent reporting of cases, thus achieving greater transparency and supervision of what currently remains a largely secretive practice.

    Mercy killing of new born babies, along with any patient deemed incompetent to express their wishes, is not covered by Dutch law permitting euthanasia, as a key requirement of …

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