For the second year in a row there have been no reports of doctors helping to end the lives of new born babies with severe handicaps, the Volkskrant reports on Tuesday.
All cases of baby euthanasia, which is technically illegal ,should be registered with a special commission. Experts expect some 20 cases a year, the paper says.
One reason for the lack of reports may be the introduction of an ultrasound test for all women at 20 weeks of pregnancy, which allows problems such as spina bifida to be identified earlier.
But the commission’s chairman Joep Hubben told the paper he thinks doctors are afraid of prosecution. It is illegal to end the life of a newborn baby but doctors are not usually charged if certain conditions are met, for example if the child faces a short life of ‘unbearable suffering’.
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