The Dutch government is to set up a commission to oversee the euthanasia of seriously ill newborns. The commission will be able to approve late abortions or killing newborns. Euthanasia will be possible if a child has no chance of survival and is suffering unbearably, if another doctor is consulted and if the parents agree. The Justice Minister and the Junior Health Minister say that the commission, which will begin work in mid-2006, will improve the transparency of infant euthanasia.
"We wanted to respond to the needs of doctors to create clarity in how to deal with ending the life of seriously suffering newborns as well as the legal consequences of late abortions," the ministers wrote in a letter to the Dutch parliament.
"The conventions, as well as the opinion of the commission, offer doctors the knowledge that cases will not just be seen from a legal perspective but also from a medical and ethical perspective… the uncertainty of doctors is being addressed."
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