The Netherlands is considering allowing kids 12 and under to be euthanized if they are terminally ill and have no hope of recovery.
Health Minister Huge de Jonge proposed the new policy to the States General of the Netherlands, the country’s legislature, on Tuesday, saying termination of life should be accessible for “a small group of terminally ill children,” the NL Times reported.
Currently, assisted suicide is legal in the country for babies under one-year-old and children over the age of 12 but De Jonge is concerned for the young people in between those age groups and their access to care, the outlet reported.
For terminally ill children “who agonize with no hope, and unbearable suffering,” between the ages of one and 12, doctors can only provide palliative care or withhold nutrition until a patient dies, the outlet said.
This has created what doctors call a “gray area” between traditional palliative care and active assisted suicide, leading them to