The Groningen Protocol

The so-called "Groningen Protocol" of 2002 sets out five conditions which have to be fulfilled so that euthanasia on newborns is not a punishable offence:

  1. the diagnosis and prognosis must be certain,
  2. hopeless and unbearable suffering must be present,
  3. the diagnosis, prognosis and unbearable suffering must be confirmed by at least one independent doctor,
  4. both parents must give informed consent and
  5. the procedure must be performed in accordance with the accepted medical standard.

An article by two of the authors of the "Groningen Protocol", which includes a reproduction of the protocol itself, is contained in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Verhagen, Eduard; Sauer, Pieter J.J.(2005): The Groningen Protocol "Euthanasia in severly ill newborns. In: New England Journal of Medicine 352 (10), 959ff. Online Version

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