Source:United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. "Nazi Medical Experiments." Holocaust Encyclopedia. http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/media_ph.php?lang=en&ModuleId=10005168&MediaId=2655(accessed May 17, 2009).
When I became Ciarra's mom, I also became aware of some terrible realities. The abortion statistics are one of them. Over 90% abort for prenatal diagnosis. Some Doctors, who swear an oath to heal, are giving out false and misleading information, or no information at all. Their complicity in this modern day eugenics nightmare is without question. As I learned about these statistics, about the rush to feed bad information to already scared mothers, I kept hearing words bandied about that seemed overblown and cruel. Nazism, Hitleresque, even "Eugenics" seemed to push buttons and bring about cries of "No Fair!"
Many people say that to draw a parallel between the modern day extermination of babies with Down syndrome and Nazi Germany is ludicrous. Of course, I am passionately on the side of the babies, but I wanted to understand where such thinking comes from. I think I understand now. And yes, the parallels are there.
In the not-so-distant-past, a great injustice was committed against an entire people. And although I by no means intend to exclude their suffering, I am not talking about the Jewish people. I am talking about a time before the Holocaust, a time when Doctors and Nurses-not SS men, learned to kill their most vulnerable patients. It was practice, in a literal sense, for the coming Holocaust. It was not in places with names like Auschwitz, Dachau, Buchenwald, Birkenau, or Treblinka that the killing began. The Nazi killing machine got its start quietly, in the Pediatric wards and asylums of Germany herself, carried out by the physicians of Germany, who perverted "healing" into killing.
Soon after Hitler took power, the Nazis formulated a policy based on their vision of a biologically "pure" population. Their goal was to create an "Aryan master race." On July 14, 1933 a new law called "Law for the Prevention of Progeny with Hereditary Diseases," was passed. It forced the sterilization of all persons who with disabilities considered hereditary, such as mental illness (schizophrenia and manic depression), mental retardation ("congenital feeble-mindedness"), physical deformity, epilepsy, blindness, deafness, and severe alcoholism.
Source:United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. "Handicapped." Holocaust Encyclopedia. http://www.ushmm.org/education/resource/handic/handicapbklt.pdf(accessed May 17, 2009).
In 1933, Hitler organized a top secret committee called the KdF, Kanzlei des Führer, which means Hitler's Personal Chancellery to head the T4 program. To hide the true intentions of the KdF, they came up with a fictitious name "The Reich Committee for the Scientific Registration of Serious Hereditarily and Genetically Based Illnesses" known simply as the "Reich Committee."
What the world would come to know in later years as the T4 Program was created by Hitler's Nazis in 1939 to deal with the disabled, mentally ill, and elderly. T4 was named after the physical address of the Berlin administrtive offices of the program, Tiergarten Strafe Number 4, a confiscated Jewish villa. The tinderbox was set, all that was needed was a spark to light the flames of eugenic mass murder. The Nazi hierachy would continue to wrestle with the morality and legality of murdering it's most vulnerable, the people they referred to as "defectives", until early 1938. It was then that fate brought to them the parents of the little boy who would become the first to die by euthanasia. His death fed the desire for the elimination of lebensunwertes Leben ("life unworthy of life"), and catapulted the T4 program into history.
The father of "Baby Knauer," an infant born blind and missing his leg and part of his arm, wrote Hitler requesting permission to have his child "put to sleep." As described by Lifton and other historians, Hitler was quite interested in the case and sent one of his personal physicians, Karl Rudolph Brandt, to investigate. Brandt's instructions from his Führer were to verify the facts of the baby's condition and, if found to be true, to assure the child's doctors and his parents that if he was killed, no one would face punishment. The doctors in the case who met with Brandt agreed that there was "no justification for keeping the child alive." Baby Knauer soon became one of the first victims of the Holocaust.
Hitler later signed a secret decree permitting the euthanasia of disabled infants. Sympathetic physicians and nurses from around the country--many not even Nazi party members--cooperated in the horror that followed. Formal "protective guidelines" were created, including the creation of a panel of "expert referees," which judged which infants were eligible for the program.
Source:Killing Babies, Compassionately
The Netherlands follows in Germany's footsteps.
by Wesley J. Smith
http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/012/003dncoj.asp?pg=2(accessed May 17, 2009).
In October 1939 Adolf Hitler wrote the following memo: "Reich Leader [Philip] Bouhler and Dr. med. [Karl] Brandt are charged with the responsibility of enlarging the authority of certain physicians, designated by name, so that patients who, on the basis of human judgment, are considered incurable, can be granted a mercy death after a discerning diagnosis."
http://www.chgs.umn.edu/histories/documentary/hadamar/the_occurrence.html(accessed May 17, 2009).
Source: http://www.holocaustchronicle.org/StaticPages/169.html(accessed May 17, 2009).
The wheels were quickly set in motion, elaborate plans laid out fo the "mercy killings" of hundreds of thousands of Germany's most vulnerable. The Third Reich's drive for racial purity left no room for anyone who was "different". Although the go-ahead for the euthanasia program was given in October 1939, the decree legalizing it was backdated to September 1, the beginning of World War II. Hitler knew that his people would find the killings more palatable if they were neccessitated by war. A propaganda campaign against those deemed unworthy was unleashed at the same time.
Doctors and Nurses were ordered to document any deviation from "normal" in babies up to 3 years old, particularly new births. Any baby born with even the mildest birth defect was catalogued and marked for death, including all infants born with specific medical conditions:
Idiotism and Down Syndrome (in particular cases with blindness or deafness);
Microcephaly (abnormally small head);
Severe or Progressive Hydrocephaly;
All deformities, in particular missing limbs, serious head and spinal column defects etc.;
Paralysis, including Little's sickness (Spastic Diplegia). The process for identifying them was mandatory. The families were told that their children were being sent to asylums for therapy, and often never knew the real reasons for the deaths.
The children were sent to various Institutions, where they lingered for just enough time to make it appear they were receiving treatment. Generally within weeks of arrival, they were dispatched with injections of drugs such as Luminal (Phenobarbitol) or simply starved to death. Later, as the Doctors perfected their gruesome work, they turned to gassing ever-growing numbers of their patients with carbon monoxide. Families who did not want their children taken away often faced a beaurocratic nightmare, the children were moved often to disguise the killings as natural, with death certificates to match. There were six euthanasia centers in Germany and Austria: Hartheim, Sonnenstein, Grafeneck, Bernburg, Hadamar, or Brandenburg.
The death notices were form letters:
As you have certainly already been informed your daughter,__________ transferred to our establishment by ministerial order. It is out painful duty to inform you that your daughter died here on __________of influenza, with an abscess on the lung. Unfortunately all efforts made by the medical staff to keep the patient alive proved in vain. We wish to express our sincere condolences at your loss. You will find consolation in the thought that the death of your daughter relieved her from her terrible and incurable suffering.
According to instructions from the police, we were obliged to proceed immediately with the cremation of the body. This measure is intended to protect the country from the spread of infectious diseases, which in time of war pose a considerable danger The regulations must, therefore be strictly adhered to.
Should you wish the urn to be sent to you - at no charge - kindly inform us and send us the written consent of the cemetery authorities. If we do not receive a reply from you within a fortnight, we shall make arrangements for the burial of the urn. Please find enclosed copies of the death certificate to be presented to the authorities. We suggest that you keep them in a safe place.
Heil Hitler (Kogen et al, p. 29)
As well as newborns, the doctors had to declare all children below the age of three who were affected by these conditions. The decree attached a sample declaration form. This form requested the following information, other than the name, age and sex of the child: a detailed description of the sickness; an explanation of how the child is affected by the sickness; details related to the child's hospitalization and the name of that hospital; an estimate of life expectancy and the chances of improvement. The form was only on one side of a page; the space for detailed description was very little. The midwives and doctors had to send their declarations to the local public health offices, who had to verify the information and then send the declaration to the Reich Committee at the 101, Berlin W 9 post office box.
The initial phase of the decree was set up to give the impression that the minister's objective was to realize a scientific survey which was to help children suffering from serious disorders: "The timely registration of suitable cases with deformations and hereditary mental disorders was essential for the clarification of scientific problems". The decree does not state the real reasons behind this compulsory declaration of disabled children.
The experts never checked the children for such deformities, nor did they consult existing medical casuistry. They simply gave a mark alongside the names on a piece of paper headed "Reich Committee", a simple plus (+) indicated inclusion in the program, which meant the killing of the child; a simple minus (-) indicated exclusion, which meant the child lived. If the expert was undecided, he wrote "observation", meaning the decision was deferred.
To kill the children, who, once taken into the operation network, became known as "children of the Reich Committee", the Committee created so-called wards of expert assistance for children in State hospitals and clinics. The first of these wards was quickly established under the direction of Hans Heinze at the Brandenburg-Gorden institute; time was needed to create others because the KdF had to recruit directors for these institutes designed to host wards for euthanasia, and doctors who were willing to do it.
On the 1st of July 1940, the RMdl issued a leaflet which announced the creation (which in reality took place some time previously) of the first pediatric ward of the Reich Committee in Brandenburg-Gorden, near Berlin. This measure, continuing to disguise the real reason for the program, informed health offices that "under expert medical supervision, the pediatric psychiatric ward in Gorden, near Brandenburg on the Haven, would supply all possible therapeutic operations for the children, and was made possible thanks to recent scientific discoveries".
From the beginning, even the doctors compiling the declaration forms did not know the truth. A health official, interested in organising the transfer of some children to the new Gorden institute, complained that the institute did not reply to his questions on costs. The Reich Committee possessed the resources to cover all expenses when there were no alternatives, but they tried, when possible, to persuade parents or support bodies to pay for the secret killings.
Source: Memories-The T4 Project. "Memories." Rai Social Action Department. http://www.segretariatosociale.rai.it/inglese/atelier/altriluoghi/memorie/altriluoghi_T4.html
(accessed May 17, 2009).
NOTE: one of the most comprehensive accounts of the t4 program that I have read
In the end, the Reich Committee established at least 22 child euthanasia wards. Some of these wards provide little information, other than their existence; others were covered up by the public shame following the revelations that emerged during the trials which were held after the war.
In 1940 at least three other pediatric euthanasia wards were established. One of these was the large Am Steinhof institute in Vienna. In July 1940, the Am Spiegelgrund pedagogic sanitarium for children was inaugurated, with 640 beds in buildings situated within the confines of the Amo Steinhof. its function was a pediatric euthanasia ward for Austria.
having visited some wards, the director who, if I remember correctly was called Pfannmuller, led us to the pediatric ward. There were between 15 and 25 cots with as many children. I remember the frankness and the cynicism of his conversation:" these creatures are only a burden on our national health system. We don't kill them with poison, injections or methods that would allow the foreign press to stage a new smear campaign. Our method is much simpler and natural". I can still see this fat man in front of me who smiled smugly, surrounded by children that were dying of starvation. The assassin further highlighted that the children did not stop eating suddenly, but that their rations were slowly reduced.2
|The child euthanasia policy was initiated and directed by KdF bureaucrats, but carrying it out was left to the specialists: the doctors in the pediatric wards. The KdF bureaucrats were not worried about the methods of eliminating children; they trusted the expertise of the chosen doctors. The doctors had to find the best methods. Therefore, during a meeting at the KdF offices, the choice of extermination technique was left to the discretion of the doctors in Bayer. |
One method of killing was death by starvation. We know for sure that this method was at times applied: when the war came to an end, the rations of food were reduced to a point of going below the basic level of survival and "the death by starvation wards" were found in many institutes. Despite this, death by starvation was not the most used method of child euthanasia.
The preferred method was using drugs. Although the decision on the type of drug used was up to each specialist, the doctors shared information in relation to the drugs, exchanging visits or meeting in Berlin. Pfannmuller, for example, visited Am Steinhof in Vienna and noted that those who practiced euthanasia used Morphine-Scopolamine; however he preferred Luminal (sedative) and Veronal (sleeping pill) barbiturates. In Berlin, Bayer was informed of the effectiveness of Bromide, Morphine, Veronal and Luminal. Among these Luminal became the favoured method by the majority of doctors, with Morphine-Scopolamine a second choice, usually kept for those who resisted Luminal or Veronal.2
But the people were beginning to notice, and on an increasing scale, objections were being raised. In some cases, the objections were not moral ones, but legal affairs that demanded rules be put in place to cover up the killings by making them matters of law.
Letter from chief of institution for feeble-minded in Stetten to Reich Minister of justice Dr. Frank, September 6, 1940 ( Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals - Washington, U.S Govt. Print. Off., 1949-1953, Vol. I, p. 854).
Dear Reich Minister,
Letter from Dr. Wurm, of the Wuerttemberg Evangelical Provincial Church, to Reich Minister of interior Dr. Frick, September 5, 1940 ( Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression - Washington, U.S Govt. Print. Off., 1946, Supp. A, p. 1223).
Dear Reich Minister,.
Letter from Dr. Hilfrich, Bishop of Limburg, to the Reich Minister of Justice, August 13, 1941 (Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals - Washington, U.S Govt. Print. Off., 1949-1953, Vol. I, p. 845-846).
Letter from Reichsfuehrer-SS Himmler to SS-Oberfuehrer Brack, December 19, 1940 (Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals - Washington, U.S Govt. Print. Off., 1949-1953, Vol. I, p. 856).
Extract from the Diary of General Halder, September-November 1941 (Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals - Washington, U.S Govt. Print. Off., 1949-1953, Vol. X, p. 1195-1196).
|26 September 1941: |
h. Mental institutions in Army Group North. Russians regard the feebleminded as sacred beings. Killing them is necessary, nontheless.
Hitler apparently gave Brandt a verbal order on or about 24 August 1941 to end or at least `stall' operation T4. But the killing of mental patients did not end: mass murder was just beginning. What was discontinued was only the visible dimension of the project: the large-scale gassing of patients. T4 officially ceased as a program, but that turned out to be still another deception. Widespread killing continued in a second phase, sometimes referred to in Nazi documents as `wild euthanasia' because doctors encouraged, if not directed, by the regime could now act on their own initiative concerning who would live or die.
Extracted from THE NAZI DOCTORS: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide.Lifton, Robert Jay, London: Papermac, 1986 (Reprinted 1990)__pp.95-97w/multiple citings
As we all now know, what happened to the children of Hadamar and the other killing hospitals was not the end. It was the training grounds for the even bigger killing spree to come. It is hard to fathom that the death and destruction of so many innocents could be seen as "the lesser evil" or not even known by the majority of people. It is a shameful history, but it is a necessary history to know. Even Hitler himself knew that without the awareness of the past, the future is doomed,
“"The man who has no sense of history, is like a man who has no ears or eyes"”
Sadly, we have not learned. The killing has never really stopped. Doctors, who swear an oath to preserve life, are taking it in the most inhumane and cruel ways possible. The ones whose lives are taken, just like in the days leading up to and including the Holocaust, are the ones least able to speak for themselves.
In 1982, a Bloomington, Indiana child with Down's Syndrome was born with a connection between his food-pipe and windpipe, a condition know as trachea-esophageal fistula. This prevented the child from being fed since food could not reach the stomach.
Our society is tumbling quickly down the slippery slope. We shake our heads in sadness and grief for what we believe we know about the Holocaust. We swear that we would never turn our backs in the same way that the German people turned theirs. We are better than that, we have learned from history. And yet, thousands upon thousands of our disabled children are killed in late term abortion every year. Their killing is not an easy one, the methods used to take their lives would make Hitler cringe.
I then try to find a part of the fetus that I can
12 easily grasp, and then I pull on my forceps and pull that part
13 out. Sometimes during that portion of the D&E I am able to
14 pull forward either a foot or a leg or an arm of the fetus. If
15 I pull at that moment forward the leg of the fetus, I try to
16 deliver the fetus intact, because delivering a fetus intact has
17 several advantages over delivering not intact.
As I mentioned before, most of the patients I
12 deliver, I perform a D&E on, do have fetal malformations.
13 Those fetal malformations are usually diagnosed on ultrasound,
14 especially what we call the structural fetal malformation,
15 where something is wrong with the fetal head or the abdomen or
16 the chest. It could be many different things.
UNC Chapel-Hill biology professor Albert Harris argues,
Handicapped people like Teri Schiavo starved to death by the legal system, and a husband who did not want the burden of her care. Like the Knauer Baby many years before, someone asked that she die, and the Doctors complied.
The zeal for eradicating people classed as sub-humans did not originate in the fevered brow of the madman from Linz. The pseudo-science called "eugenics" by its founder, Englishman Francis Galton, was tied from inception to the theories of Charles Darwin, Galton's cousin. Eugenics was the logical extension of the concepts of "natural selection" and "fitness" propounded in Origin of Species. Eugenics however, was the application of these concepts to human beings. The transmission of these ideas from Darwin's mind to Hitler's smoking chimneys can be easily traced.3
Like those who just completed killing Terri, all it took was to put the plan into action and hope there was no resistance by the Christian populace. When the war began in 1939, Hitler ordered his program of mass murder begun. The initial killings were to take place at several sanatoria including Brandenburg, Sonnenstein, Hartheim, and the infamous Hadamar. Hitler himself coined terms and phrases which provides the dialogue for contemporary pro-death advocates such as Michael Schiavo's lawyer George Felos. Two favorites were phrases applied to the mentally disabled — these creatures were "life unworthy of life" and "useless eaters." The government program established to dispatch these "useless eaters" was dubbed Operation T4.
Let's be emphatic about the truth. Terri was murdered; her killing was a crime against humanity just as surely as if she had been a victim of Hitler's extermination sanatoriums. Her body, like those unfortunates, is to be incinerated in a crematory oven.
In America, the New Order is here and there are few people interested in arresting its progress. The laity are too fixated on twanging banjoes and wailing "Kumbaya" to hear the screams, or in Terri's case, the moans of the state's victims. A few good people did speak out this time but there won't be as many next time and the process of eradicating "useless eaters" and "life unworthy of life" will get easier and easier. So you see, the way from Hadamar to Woodlawn hospice, Pinellas Park, Florida is really a very short road indeed.
In Kansas, there is a Doctor by the name of George Tiller who performs abortions for fetal defect right up until the date of delivery.
"We have some experience with late terminations... about 10,000 patients between 24 and 36 weeks and something like 800 fetal anomalies between 26 and 36 weeks in the past 5 years."
From a speech given by George R. Tiller at the National Abortion Federation Annual Meeting on April 2-4, 1995 in New Orleans, LA
"In our organization we have made the decision that in situations of fetal abnormality, the woman is the patient and the fetus is the problem."
From Tiller's 1996 video "Fetal Indications Terminations of Pregnancy". This video is distributed through ob/gyn and genetics counselors to advertise his late-term abortions for babies with defects.
And LeRoy Carhart:
Carhart said at least once a month, an entire fetus is expelled from the mother during a D&E he is performing. The fetuses are alive at the time of delivery," he said. There is a heartbeat "very frequently.
Carhart - one of Tiller's abortionists - admits that babies frequently are born alive during abortions. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, April 1, 2004, "Doctor: Law Would Outlaw Many Abortions"
From Tiller's website:
At Women's Health Care Services, we specialize in "late" abortion care. We are able to perform elective abortions to the time in the pregnancy when the fetus is viable. Viability is not a set point in time. Viability is determined by the attending physician and is based on sonogram results, physical examination and last menstrual period date (if known).
In order to offer you an appointment, we require that a physician refer you to our center. In addition, we need your genetic counselor or doctor to provide us with gestational and diagnostic information regarding your pregnancy. Over the past twenty-five years, we have had experience with pregnancy terminations in such situations as anencephaly, Trisomy 13, 18, and 21, polycystic kidney disease, spina bifida, hydrocephalus, Potter's syndrome, lethal dwarfism, holoprosencephaly, anterior and posterior encephalocele, non-immune hydrops, and a variety of other very significant abnormalities.
You may read this and think, "not us", this cannot happen here. Think again. It IS happening:
Theodore Roosevelt 26th President of US 1901-1909. One of fourteen Masons who have been US Presidents.
Society has no business to permit degenerates to reproduce their kind.... Any group of farmers who permitted their best stock not to breed, and let all the increase come from the worst stock, would be treated as fit inmates for an asylum.... Some day we will realize that the prime duty, the inescapable duty of the good citizens of the right type is to leave his or her blood behind him in the world; and that we have no business to permit the perpetuation of citizens of the wrong type. The great problem of civilization is to secure a relative increase of the valuable as compared with the less valuable or noxious elements in the population... The problem cannot be met unless we give full consideration to the immense influence of heredity...
I wish very much that the wrong people could be prevented entirely from breeding; and when the evil nature of these people is sufficiently flagrant, this should be done. Criminals should be sterilized and feebleminded persons forbidden to leave offspring behind them... The emphasis should be laid on getting desirable people to breed...
First paragraph: Theodore Roosevelt to Charles B. Davenport, January 3, 1913, Charles B. Davenport Papers, Department of Genetics, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.
Second paragraph: Roosevelt, “Twisted Eugenics,” in The Works of Theodore Roosevelt, op. cit., National Edition, XII, p. 201.
ok, that is kind of old information. How bout this?
A professor of ethics at Princeton University, Peter Singer, advocates the killing of certain newborn infants at the discretion of their parents. The criteria he proposes for deciding which infants may be killed center on a wide range of hereditary physical conditions which Singer considers "disabilities". He has been forthright and consistent in his advocacy of this position for many years. The second sentence of his 1985 book Should the Baby Live? (co-authored with his close colleague Helga Kuhse) reads:
"We think that some infants with severe disabilities should be killed."
His 1994 book Rethinking Life & Death, whose aim is to articulate
"a social ethic where some human lives are valued and others are not"(p. 112),
recapitulates the arguments in favor of selective infanticide outlined above. There he endorses the view that
"it is ethical that a child suffering from Down's syndrome...should not survive (p. 123) because the quality of life of someone with Down syndrome [is] below the standard at which medical treatment to sustain the life of an infant becomes obligatory(p. 111;)
In Singer's terms "treatment to sustain life" doesn't refer merely to surgical intervention but to simple feeding as well). This "quality of life" reasoning is sometimes cast in more colorful terms; in Should the Baby Live? Singer quotes, entirely approvingly, the grandmother of a Down syndrome child:
"Had the poor little mongol been allowed to die, as he so easily could, my daughter might have had one or two healthy children in his place" (p. 66). Singer goes on to suggest lethal injection "in the case of a Down syndrome baby with no other defect"(p. 73).
we have already looked beyond abortion to infanticide. In so doing we will have confirmed the suspicion of supporters of the sanctity of human life that once abortion is accepted, euthanasia lurks around the next comer...the case for killing other human beings, in certain circumstances, is strong.....At present parents can choose to keep or destroy their disabled offspring only if the disability happens to be detected during pregnancy. There is no logical basis for restricting parents' choice to these particular disabilities. If disabled newborn infants were not regarded as having a right to life until, say, a week or a month after birth it would allow parents, in consultation with their doctors, to choose on the basis of far greater knowledge of the infant's condition than is possible before birth
A Professor of ETHICS. Today. at one of the greates schools in our country.
God help us all.
The Washington Post has a story that discusses the morality of prenatal testing.
A first-trimester screening test can reliably identify fetuses likely to be born with Down syndrome, providing expectant women with that information much earlier in a pregnancy than current testing allows, according to a major study being released today.Screening women before the second trimester allows those who might opt to terminate a pregnancy to make that decision when doctors say an abortion is safer and less traumatic.
But Gene Rudd of the Christian Medical & Dental Associations said he was concerned that women are not always fully advised about the risks of prenatal testing, and that screening could be used to try to eliminate babies with Down syndrome.
"What's the goal here? Is it to rid our society of Down babies? If that is the goal, I really have to question the civility of that," Rudd said. "The overwhelming number of people with Down will tell you their life is good."
Randall K. O'Bannon of the National Right to Life Committee said in an e-mail, "These tests appear to be used only to select babies for abortion, including as many as 5 percent who may not even have Down's Syndrome. . . . Killing a child with Down's Syndrome is not the solution to Down's Syndrome."
In the Netherlands:
Doctors should be allowed to kill patients who are "suffering through living", the Royal Dutch Medical Association has recommended after a three-year inquiry. It could find no good reason to exclude suffering from living" from the list of motives for legal euthanasia. At the moment, doctors must follow a 2002 ruling from the Dutch Supreme Court that only a "classifiable physical or mental condition" constitutes the "hopeless and unbearable suffering" which can justify a case of legal euthanasia.
More information has also emerged in the English-language media about euthanasia for newborns in the Netherlands. Several paediatricians are campaigning there for non-voluntary euthanasia for babies with untreatable congenital diseases and malformations. Dutch legal authorities are studying a protocol which would allow doctors to kill such babies without fear of prosecution if their parents consented. Dr Eduard Verhagen, of Groningen Hospital, estimates that about a dozen children are already being killed by their doctors every year in the Netherlands, even though this is technically illegal.