UN criticises Dutch euthanasia policy

The Dutch policy on euthanasia should include judicial approval before a life is terminated, according to the latest report by the United Nations’ human rights committee, reports Saturday’s Volkskrant.

The Netherlands says its euthanasia procedures are safeguarded by the fact that a second – independent – doctor must agree to the termination of life but the UN committee does not agree that this is sufficient, the paper says.
In general the committee is satisfied with human rights in the Netherlands but drew attention to a number of issues where it has concerns, the paper says. It pointed out, for example, that the number of phone taps in Holland (almost 1,700 daily according to recent justice department figures) is the highest in the world.
It also criticised the fact that medical experiments are allowed on children, the Dutch asylum procedure and the possible discrimination of ethnic minorities in the labour market, reports the Volkskrant. The committee called too for the Dutch government to provide more childcare facilities to encourage women to work.
The UN committee’s report will be sent to parliament shortly and the cabinet is expected to publish its official reaction after the summer recess, the paper says.

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