Neonatal Euthanasia Public Attitudes

Voluntary active euthanasia is a topic of continued debate in Australia. Whilst the enclosed research article is based on research conducted in Austria its provides thought provoking  information. “Voluntary active euthanasia (VAE) is a highly discussed topic throughout Europe. In the Netherlands VAE was legalized in 2002 for competent adults and minors from the age of 12 upwards. This legislation, however, requires specific conditions to be fulfilled before a patient’s life can be ended: the request for euthanasia must be voluntary and carefully considered, the suffering must be unbearable, there must not be any other reasonable alternatives, an independent physician must have been consulted, and the request must be properly reported. In the case of minors, parental consent is additionally required.

“Since the law makes no mention of newborns, neonatal euthanasia (NE) is still illegal. Nevertheless NE has been known to take place in the Netherland.The Groningen Protocol aims at providing guidance in end-of-life decision-making for severely impaired newborns. Since its publication in 2005 many bioethicists and health care professionals have written articles in response. However, only very little is known about the opinion among the general population on this subject. The aim of this study was to present the general attitude towards neonatal euthanasia (NE) among the Austrian population and the factors associated with the respondents’ opinion.”

Neonatal Euthanasia Public Attitudes PDF

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