This isn’t actually a post from way back in my day. I’m making an exception today because taking so many philosophy and ethics courses for my psych degree has given me so many interesting viewpoints and information. A prof of mine mentioned infant euthanasia in passing during our lecture on abortion, and there were instant indignant reactions from a few people in the class. It is a course on sexual ethics, composed of one male prof, 95% female pupils, and about 2 pro-lifers. Well, all two of them got riled up upon its mention. I thought it was a good example of how the divide between pro-choice and pro-life movements sometimes causes us to be blinded by our own perspective and not be skeptically open to new information. What did those two pro-lifers really know about policy in the Netherlands on infant euthanasia? The obvious look of surprise on their faces showed just how much. Maybe, by our own religious standards/morals, we are not open to abortion or even euthanasia, but where does that level of outright hate and outrage come from with absolutely no information?
When I actually went to look at the laws myself (on the Government of the Netherlands website), I wasn’t surprised. The Netherlands are extremely liberal, which I personally find admirable. Anyways, the laws are for suffering newborns, destined to live very painful lives with no improvement of condition. To actually get approval for infant euthanasia, one doctor must be involved in informing the parents of the prognosis and be supporting, a second doctor must conduct an independent assessment, and the doctors and the parents must make a unanimous decision. Seems fairly reasonable and compassionate to me, which is the basis of the New Testament on which many of the religious and pro-lifers base their moral convictions. I think we have a duty as humans to be humane to all life– this can be a sticky sentiment when it comes to people in extreme pain, like burn victims– so I support infant euthanasia. From someone who is cautiously religious, I think it is selfish to condemn someone/thing to a life of pain because of our own religious convictions. Maybe some would argue that it is not our responsibility to decide, but isn’t that the point of religion? “God” let us live on a painful earth to make our own decisions, where decisions likely would be difficult after original sin. Later, “Jesus” died and was resurrected to offer us forgiveness for anything we had to do on earth after our release from the garden of Eden. No? Well, remember, I said cautiously religious ( raised catholic, attended catholic school, took three years of independent bible study with the Jehovah’s Witnesses, attended both christian and mormon services, dated a Muslim).
Click herefor more information on the Netherlands laws pertaining to late term abortion and infant euthanasia.