The expansion of an infanticide law to cover children aged 1 to 12 went into operation in the Netherlands on Thursday Feb 1st.
The Government announced in April last year that the “Late Termination of Pregnancy and Termination of Life Regulations for Newborns (LZA/LP)” would be “amended and expanded to include termination of life in children aged 1-12 years”.
A press release said the change would apply to terminally ill children with unbearable suffering, and would involve “about 5 to 10 children every year”.
The regulation previously allowed the euthanising of infants aged 0 to 12 months.
Dutch Health Minister Ernst Kuipers opted for a regulatory change instead of a new law as, he said, there aren’t enough examples to arrive at a standard for legislation.
The Netherland’s already allows for the euthanasia of children over the age of 12, so this latest change makes euthanasia a possibility at every stage of life.