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Netherlands to make child euthanasia for all ages legal

The Netherlands is set to widen its regulations allowing euthanasia for children of all ages.

Currently, euthanasia is available for Dutch citizens who are not terminally ill but suffering from “normal degenerative conditions that accompany ageing” that can be considered to cause “unbearable suffering with no prospect of improvement”. The procedure is also available for babies under one year and children aged twelve to fifteen with parental consent.

Now, however, the euthanasia regulations are set to be expanded to allow the procedure for children of any age

The regulations that will outline the scope of the provisions allowing euthanasia between the ages of one and twelve are set to be published later this year.

There were 8,720 cases of euthanasia (and assisted suicide) in the Netherlands in 2022, accounting for 5.1% of all death in the Netherlands in that year. Euthanasia deaths in 2022 represent a 13.7% increase on 2021. 

Right To Life UK spokesperson Catherine Robinson said “Every country that has introduced euthanasia has gradually removed safeguards. The Netherlands is no exception and proves that the introduction of such legislation is almost always followed by widening the criteria, putting the lives of vulnerable individuals at risk. The Dutch and Canadian examples must serve as a warning to the UK and dissuade British politicians from entertaining such legislation.” 

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