I must admit to being taken aback my the coverage I’m seeing of the so-called “Groningen Protocol” in the news. For those of you unfamiliar…
|::::::::||Under the Groningen protocol, if doctors at the hospital think a child is suffering unbearably from a terminal condition, they have the authority to end the child’s life. The protocol is likely to be used primarily for newborns, but it covers any child up to age 12.||::::::::|
This isn’t a hypothetical debate. This is an ongoing policy of action at the Groningen University Hospital. I have a problem with the Protocol, and here it is:
|::::::::||Under the Groningen protocol, if doctors at the hospital think a child is suffering unbearably from a terminal condition, they have the authority to end the child’s life. The protocol is likely to be used primarily for newborns, but it covers any child up to age 12.
The hospital, beyond confirming the protocol in general terms, refused to discuss its details.
“It is for very sad cases,” said a hospital spokesman, who declined to be identified. “After years of discussions, we made our own protocol to cover the small number of infants born with such severe disabilities that doctors can see they have extreme pain and no hope for life. Our estimate is that it will not be used but 10 to 15 times a year.”
A parent’s role is limited under the protocol. While experts and critics familiar with the policy said a parent’s wishes to let a child live or die naturally most likely would be considered, they note that the decision must be professional, so rests with doctors.
Yes, that’s correct. As a parent, you wouldn’t have the say in whether or not to seek other treatment for your child. If the doctors there decided they couldn’t do anything for your kid and, in their opinion, the kid’s suffering too much for them, they can put your beloved child down and tell you about it after. This is way, way past assisted suicide and the right-to-die arguments. This isn’t about an 80-year-old with liver cancer making the call that chemo and radiation therapy doesn’t sound like a fun trip for a 5% chance to live 12 months. This is about a child and about separating the parents from the decision.
So why am I taken aback? Because not one of the “mainstream” media is covering it. Not a single one, as of this writing. This isn’t newsworthy? This isn’t a valuable addition to the euthanasia debate? It most certainly is. But I don’t see this on our so-called “news agencies.” I see this on bloggers. I’m sure glad the blogosphere is keeping their eyes open.
There comes a time when the civilian recognizes that it’s time to take cover. That time is now: The annual Army-Navy game is set to commence fire. Two of my favorite bloggers, BlackFive and Smash are the representatives for the opposing teams in my particular sphere of acquaintances.
Hey, I just hope it’s a good game.
Parting shot from BlackFive:
|::::::::||Now, there is no doubt that the Army team is on the way back from the worst record in College Football history. But if they defeat Navy?
Well, then, Sailors will be crying the world over, crushed and defeated by one of the worst teams in football. And that, my friends, is a worthy endevour.
[Hey, Smash, notice how it's not called the Navy-Army Game?]
Oooo, that’s gotta hurt.