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Thread: Lethal Injection for Infants.

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    Ubi dubium ibi libertas Senior Contributor
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    Lethal Injection for Infants.

    Dutch Hospital Euthanizing Gravely Ill Babies
    Tuesday, November 30, 2004

    AMSTERDAM, Netherlands ó A hospital in the Netherlands (search) ó the first nation to permit euthanasia ó recently proposed guidelines for mercy killings of terminally ill newborns, and then made a startling revelation: It has already begun carrying out such procedures, which include administering a lethal dose of sedatives.

    The announcement by the Groningen Academic Hospital (search) came amid a growing discussion in Holland on whether to legalize euthanasia on people incapable of deciding for themselves whether they want to end their lives ó a prospect viewed with horror by euthanasia opponents and as a natural evolution by advocates.

    In August, the main Dutch doctors' association KNMG urged the Health Ministry to create an independent board to review euthanasia (search) cases for terminally ill people "with no free will," including children, the severely mentally retarded and people left in an irreversible coma after an accident.

    The Health Ministry is preparing its response, which could come as soon as December, a spokesman said.

    Three years ago, the Dutch parliament made it legal for doctors to inject a sedative and a lethal dose of muscle relaxant at the request of adult patients suffering great pain with no hope of relief.

    The Groningen Protocol, as the hospital's guidelines have come to be known, would create a legal framework for permitting doctors to actively end the life of newborns deemed to be in similar pain from incurable disease or extreme deformities.

    The guideline says euthanasia is acceptable when the child's medical team and independent doctors agree the pain cannot be eased and there is no prospect for improvement, and when parents think it's best.

    Examples include extremely premature births, where children suffer brain damage from bleeding and convulsions; and diseases where a child could only survive on life support for the rest of its life, such as severe cases of spina bifida and epidermosis bullosa, a rare blistering illness.

    The hospital revealed last month it carried out four such mercy killings in 2003, and reported all cases to government prosecutors. There have been no legal proceedings against the hospital or the doctors.

    Roman Catholic organizations and the Vatican have reacted with outrage to the announcement, and U.S. euthanasia opponents contend the proposal shows the Dutch have lost their moral compass.

    "The slippery slope in the Netherlands has descended already into a vertical cliff," said Wesley J. Smith, a prominent California-based critic, in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

    Child euthanasia remains illegal everywhere. Experts say doctors outside Holland do not report cases for fear of prosecution.

    "As things are, people are doing this secretly and that's wrong," said Eduard Verhagen, head of Groningen's children's clinic. "In the Netherlands we want to expose everything, to let everything be subjected to vetting."

    According to the Justice Ministry, four cases of child euthanasia were reported to prosecutors in 2003. Two were reported in 2002, seven in 2001 and five in 2000. All the cases in 2003 were reported by Groningen, but some of the cases in other years were from other hospitals.

    Groningen estimated the protocol would be applicable in about 10 cases per year in the Netherlands, a country of 16 million people.

    Since the introduction of the Dutch law, Belgium has also legalized euthanasia, while in France, legislation to allow doctor-assisted suicide is currently under debate. In the United States, the state of Oregon is alone in allowing physician-assisted suicide, but this is under constant legal challenge.

    However, experts acknowledge that doctors euthanize routinely in the United States and elsewhere, but that the practice is hidden.

    "Measures that might marginally extend a child's life by minutes or hours or days or weeks are stopped. This happens routinely, namely, every day," said Lance Stell, professor of medical ethics at Davidson College in Davidson, N.C., and staff ethicist at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, N.C. "Everybody knows that it happens, but there's a lot of hypocrisy. Instead, people talk about things they're not going to do." Not helping someone stay alive is different then killing them.

    More than half of all deaths occur under medical supervision, so it's really about management and method of death, Stell said.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,140053,00.html
    "Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have."
    "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"

    NEVER FORGET

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    Staff Emeritus Confed999's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader
    which include administering a lethal dose of sedatives.
    We have a similar thing here. HOSPICE administers enough to take away the pain, even if it's an ultimately fatal dose. From experience, I know they are a Godsend... :(
    No man is free until all men are free - John Hossack
    I agree completely with this Administrationís goal of a regime change in Iraq-John Kerry
    even if that enforcement is mostly at the hands of the United States, a right we retain even if the Security Council fails to act-John Kerry
    He may even miscalculate and slide these weapons off to terrorist groups to invite them to be a surrogate to use them against the United States. Itís the miscalculation that poses the greatest threat-John Kerry

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    Ubi dubium ibi libertas Senior Contributor
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    Quote Originally Posted by Confed999
    We have a similar thing here. HOSPICE administers enough to take away the pain, even if it's an ultimately fatal dose. From experience, I know they are a Godsend... :(
    The key is choice. The child didn't choose to be euthanized. Someone decided that that the child was in to much pain and didn't have any hope to live. I wouldn't want someone to make that decision for me.
    "Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have."
    "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"

    NEVER FORGET

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    Staff Emeritus Confed999's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader
    Someone decided that that the child was in to much pain and didn't have any hope to live.
    Yes, I would like to know the standards applied, but if it truly were hopeless I don't necessarily disagree.
    No man is free until all men are free - John Hossack
    I agree completely with this Administrationís goal of a regime change in Iraq-John Kerry
    even if that enforcement is mostly at the hands of the United States, a right we retain even if the Security Council fails to act-John Kerry
    He may even miscalculate and slide these weapons off to terrorist groups to invite them to be a surrogate to use them against the United States. Itís the miscalculation that poses the greatest threat-John Kerry

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader
    The key is choice. The child didn't choose to be euthanized. Someone decided that that the child was in to much pain and didn't have any hope to live. I wouldn't want someone to make that decision for me.

    But what if you couldn't make that decision? What if you couldn't speak?
    But I do agree (it seems nice) that one should have that choice, but what if they arenít physically or mentally strong enough to make that choice? and what if their choice is to die but that choice is heavily influenced by their pain?

    It's better to have it illegal, because it would cause a lot of problems if it wasn't , doctors and scientists fight harder when there is something relying on them to fight, also many people may make decisions based on their pain and there might be murders based on mercy killing ex." oh my uncle with the great big will for me looks like he's in to much pain, so I'll kill him". It would cause so many problems.
    Morally, choice may in fact be the key, but theoretically, it can't be. You can't know what you'll be thinking like all pumped up on pain killer and emotional. And time truly is a healer weather it heals wounds or gives a scientist an extra week to find that cure or drug that helps.

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    what they're doing is BARBARIC. sick people. sound like Nazis taking out handicapped persons.

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    Staff Emeritus Confed999's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Franco Lolan
    sound like Nazis taking out handicapped persons.
    No, the "handicapped" would have survived. This story speaks of, supposedly, terminal patients.
    No man is free until all men are free - John Hossack
    I agree completely with this Administrationís goal of a regime change in Iraq-John Kerry
    even if that enforcement is mostly at the hands of the United States, a right we retain even if the Security Council fails to act-John Kerry
    He may even miscalculate and slide these weapons off to terrorist groups to invite them to be a surrogate to use them against the United States. Itís the miscalculation that poses the greatest threat-John Kerry

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    Ubi dubium ibi libertas Senior Contributor
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lambert
    But what if you couldn't make that decision? What if you couldn't speak?
    You would let nature take its course.

    But I do agree (it seems nice) that one should have that choice, but what if they arenít physically or mentally strong enough to make that choice? and what if their choice is to die but that choice is heavily influenced by their pain?
    So we have a two ways to be wrong. One results in murder the other in needless pain. Of the negative consequences of being wrong, murder is far worse.
    "Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have."
    "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"

    NEVER FORGET

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader



    So we have a two ways to be wrong. One results in murder the other in needless pain. Of the negative consequences of being wrong, murder is far worse.
    agreed.

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    but can there be another way? one which is right? murder and needless suffering resulting in death seem like two large extremes. So what's in between?

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    Ubi dubium ibi libertas Senior Contributor
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lambert
    but can there be another way? one which is right? murder and needless suffering resulting in death seem like two large extremes. So what's in between?
    Yes ask the person what they want. If they can't answer, morality tells you to pick the lesser evil.
    "Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have."
    "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"

    NEVER FORGET

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    Staff Emeritus Confed999's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader
    Yes ask the person what they want. If they can't answer, morality tells you to pick the lesser evil.
    That's why it's important to have a "living will", detailing your wishes.
    No man is free until all men are free - John Hossack
    I agree completely with this Administrationís goal of a regime change in Iraq-John Kerry
    even if that enforcement is mostly at the hands of the United States, a right we retain even if the Security Council fails to act-John Kerry
    He may even miscalculate and slide these weapons off to terrorist groups to invite them to be a surrogate to use them against the United States. Itís the miscalculation that poses the greatest threat-John Kerry

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    We have a similar system in India, its called "getting admitted in a govt. hospital". The system is perfect, it ensures that you don't survive. (Sorry, if I have offended the seriousness of this thread with a little drab humour).

    Cheers!...on the rocks!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by lemontree
    We have a similar system in India, its called "getting admitted in a govt. hospital". The system is perfect, it ensures that you don't survive. (Sorry, if I have offended the seriousness of this thread with a little drab humour).
    we have the same scheme, it must be a commonwealth thing....

    i'm afraid i may have to disagree with the apparent concensus, certainly with regard to the issue of terminally ill babies, many of whom - it appears to me - are put through the most appalling suffering in order to preserve their parents desires to 'have a baby' and to 'fight for her'. acts of the most appalling selfishness are commited everyday in paediatric intensive care units, while vetrinarians would be arrested and struck off for allowing an animal to suffer in the way that some babies are forced to do.

    at least the dutch are honest.

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    I agree with the above. I find it interesting how the Catholic Church always sides with needless and wonton pain and anguish. I feel they need to reflect a bit and focus less on the suffering of Christ and more on the salvation he provides. I believe that a temporary existence in perpetual agony is a greater crime than what some would deem "murder." Those repulsed by euthenasia need to spend time treating those who would benefit from it.
    The black flag is raised: Ban them all... Let the Admin sort them out.

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