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The first nation to allow euthanasia is getting ready to release new guidelines that will expand the rules allowing doctors to end the life of terminally ill newborns. According to the Associated Press, "Under the protocol, euthanasia would be permissible when a child is terminally ill with no prospect of recovery and suffering great pain, when two sets of doctors agree the situation is hopeless, and when parents give their consent."

"The governing conservative Christian Democrat party—which fought legalization when it was in the opposition—will embrace the guidelines."

To prevent abuse, the government is establishing a commission to determine whether the criteria have been met in each situation. The commission will refer to prosecutors those cases that have not met the new guidelines.

"I admire the Dutch desire for openness in addressing what is an incredibly difficult issue, but I categorically do not endorse ending people's lives with the argument that it's alleviating their suffering," American ethicist and pediatrician Dr. Chris Feudtner of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia told the AP. Euthanasia is "prone to abuse" he said. "If you allow it to occur, it will occur in cases where it is not ethical, period."

In the U.S., Jack Kevorian yesterday told MSNBC that if paroled, "I will not perform that act again when I get out. What I'll do is what I should have done earlier, is pursue this from a legal standpoint by campaigning to get the laws changed."

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Dutch Expand Euthanasia Rules
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