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Ending the Life of a Newborn - Essay Example

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This paper "Ending the Life of a Newborn" focuses on the Groningen protocol which is a guideline that sets out procedures to be used by physicians when ending the life of suffering infants for whom there is no way of relieving pain. …
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Ending the Life of a Newborn

The protocol proposes that the decision to terminate the life of an infant is supposed to be made in conjunction with a doctor who provides the guardian or parent of the infant with relevant medical information, and the doctor can then proceed and end the life of the infant in a humane manner if need be.
Group 1: This consists of babies who are severely handicapped with no possibility of surviving. This group includes those who are born with fatal diseases like severe lung and kidney hypoplasia and are put onto support immediately after birth as their doctors establish the extent of the damage.
Group 2: This group consists of babies who have a chance of surviving after a period of intensive treatment, but expectation pertaining to their future conditions is very grim (Kaczor, 2011). Kaczor notes that these are composed of children with extensive organ damage caused by lack of oxygen or those with severe brain abnormalities.
The application of the protocol has been accused of several problems associated. Firstly, the protocol is accused of failing to differentiate with clinical precision between infants whose prognosis of death is certain and those who have high chances of continuing to live (Achilles, 2011). Secondly, the protocol has a problem since it aims primarily at infants with spina bifida, many of whom have the possibility of leading an almost normal life (Lindermann and Verkerk, 2008). The third problem is that the protocol permits parents to commit infanticide as a means of relieving themselves from the unwanted burden of care. Fourthly, the protocol allows physicians to determine their own action’s morality. The other problem linked to the protocol is the fact that it gives the physician absolute permission of deciding what is an acceptable quality of life. Lindermann and Verkerk (2008) also note that the protocol consents to infanticide instead of preventing spina bifida or promoting its detection at earlier stages through fatal ultrasound, followed by abortion.   ... Read More
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