Euthanasia to be available to Dutch children of all ages

Dutch children of all ages will be eligible to be euthanised when the country broadens its law once again later this year.

The Dutch Government has agreed to revise the Euthanasia Act to include children between the ages of one and twelve.

In 2002, the Netherlands became the first country in the world to legalise euthanasia, including for children older than twelve. With parental consent, the law has applied to babies before their first birthday since 2005.


Deaths from euthanasia rose by nearly 14 per cent in the country in 2022, totalling 8,720 people killed.

Professor Kevin Yuill, Chief Executive of Humanists Against Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia, said the new figures were alarming.

“Euthanasia is increasingly seen as a solution for social rather than medical problems.”

He added: “What we are increasingly seeing is death, ironically, as a ‘lifestyle choice’ for those who are frightened of living. This is worrying to say the least.”

Logical flaws

Last month, Lord Carlile of Berriew KC, philosopher Baroness O’Neill of Bengarve and former Supreme Court judge Lord Jonathan Sumption highlighted the serious flaws in pro-assisted suicide rhetoric in their forewords to a Policy Exchange report.

The experts were writing in support of ethicist Prof John Keown’s critique of the case made by Peers in favour of Baroness Meacher’s failed assisted suicide Bill in the 2021 House of Lords debate.

Lord Sumption pointed to the glaring inconsistency at the heart of the pro-assisted suicide cause: “What is the justification for allowing medically assisted suicide but limiting it to those believed to be close to death or in intolerable pain, actual or prospective?

“There are so many other reasons why one might want to end one’s life. Once the moral barrier has been crossed, what is the logical stopping point?”

British Isles

Proposals to remove protections for vulnerable people are currently being considered in Scotland, and Westminster’s Health and Social Care Select Committee has called for evidence on assisted suicide in England and Wales.

Attempts to legalise assisted suicide are also under way in Jersey and the Isle of Man.

Also see:

Legal experts reject ‘muddled thinking’ of assisted suicide devotees

Columnist urges Holyrood to avoid assisted suicide ‘nightmare’

Newsnight: ‘Britain must shun Canada’s dystopian assisted suicide example’, MP says

Jersey consults on ‘dangerous’ assisted suicide and euthanasia proposals

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