Neonatal Euthanasia Should Be Broken Down Further Into Two Subgroups

1180 Words Nov 3rd, 2016 5 Pages
Neonatal Euthanasia
“Of all 539 neonatal intensive care unit deaths, 174 neonates were not resuscitated” (Tudehope 40). According to an investigation done by Dutch neonatologists, between the years of 2008-2010, there were more deaths in the delivery room due to termination of pregnancy than previous years, and fewer infants received comfort medication (Koper 888).” The main mode of these infant deaths in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) was the withdrawal of life-sustaining therapy, otherwise known as passive euthanasia.
Neonatal euthanasia, in legal terms, can be defined as “[t]he act or practice of causing or hastening the death of a person who suffers from an incurable or terminal disease or condition, especially a painful one, for reasons of mercy (Beckwith 279).” Furthermore, neonatal euthanasia can be broken down further into two subgroups: Active and passive neonatal euthanasia. Active neonatal euthanasia can be defined as “requiring a “positive” or “deliberate” act on the part of another that causes death; on the other hand, passive neonatal euthanasia can be interpreted as a “negative” act, such as the withdrawing of life-saving medication, nutrition, or hydration (Beckwith 279).” The definition of euthanasia differs from each culture. In countries such as Belgium and the Netherlands, where euthanasia is legal, the term has an alternative meaning. Euthanasia can be defined as “the act of intentionally ending the life of a terminally ill and suffering person…

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