At least five mercy killings of newborns occur for every one reported to authorities in the Netherlands, doctors there reported just months after the first startling news of the controversial practice.
While still very rare, euthanizing terminally ill newborns is more common than first believed, according to Dutch doctors, and other experts say it also occurs, quietly, in other countries.
In France, 73 percent of doctors in one study reported using drugs to end a newborn's life, but those cases aren't reported to authorities. Meanwhile, 43 percent of Dutch doctors surveyed and between 2 percent and 4 percent of doctors in the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Germany and Sweden reported doing so.
In the United States, some doctors and ethicists - both supporters and opponents of euthanasia - say newborn euthanasia has happened occasionally for decades, although it is much more common, and accepted, to withhold or stop intensive treatment and let the baby die. Experts said the new Dutch report will generate discussion but won't change American public opinion or practices.
Thursday, March 10, 2005
Disturbing... no, downright sick!
Study: Newborn Euthanasia Often Unreported