Dutch docs call for child euthanasia to be legalised

Children under the age of twelve should be allowed to request euthanasia, according to doctors in the Netherlands.

In a statement released last week, the Dutch Paediatric Association called for the current age limit for euthanasia to be lowered from twelve years old.

They claimed that young children are able to understand the consequences of such a decision.


Professor of paediatrics Eduard Verhagen, a member of the group’s ethics committee, said: “Each child’s ability to ask to die should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis”.

Under the country’s current law, euthanasia is not allowed for under-twelves, and between the ages of 12 and 16 parents must approve the practice.

Prof Verhagen said that if a child under twelve requests euthanasia, paediatricians are “powerless”, and that it is “time to address this problem”.

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