A survey of 63 Dutch paediatricians has found that up to 60% would give children a lethal injection if they were in pain from incurable cancer and both the child and his parents requested it. And up to 28% would do so even if the parents did not agree with their child’s request. This study, in the May issue of the , comes on the heels of the publication of the controversial “Groningen Protocol” for child euthanasia in the Netherlands.
A bioethicist at Northwestern University in Chicago, Dr Joel Frader, commented on the survey in the Journal. He told HealthDayNews that that the results of the survey should not be taken too seriously. “It’s a well-established notion in social science that what people say they will do in response to hypotheticals is often quite different from what they will do in actual practice.” But he was concerned. “The extension of euthanasia to larger and larger groups in the Netherlands has led to some worrisome practices that suggest an intolerance of disability,” he commented.
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