Feature

Killing babies

The week's news at a glance.

Amsterdam

A Dutch hospital acknowledged this month that it had euthanized four terminally ill infants over the past year. The revelation touched off a heated debate in the Netherlands—which legalized euthanasia for consenting adults in 2001—over whether “mercy killings” should also be allowed for terminal patients who cannot speak for themselves, such as babies and the mentally retarded. “As things are, people are doing this secretly and that’s wrong,” said Eduard Verhagen, head of the children’s clinic at the Groningen Academic Hospital. “We want to expose everything, to let everything be subjected to vetting.” U.S. anti-euthanasia activists expressed horror. “The slippery slope in the Netherlands has descended already into a vertical cliff,” said activist Wesley J. Smith.

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