A case against justified non-voluntary active euthanasia (the Groningen protocol)

Alan Jotkowitz, S. Glick, B. Gesundheit

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

39 Scopus citations


The Groningen Protocol allows active euthanasia of severely ill newborns with unbearable suffering. Defenders of the protocol insist that the protocol refers to terminally ill infants and that quality of life should not be a factor in the decision to euthanize an infant. They also argue that there should be no ethical difference between active and passive euthanasia of these infants. However, nowhere in the protocol does it refer to terminally ill infants; on the contrary, the developers of the protocol take into account the future quality of life of the infant. We also note how the Nazi Euthanasie Programm started with the premise that there is some life not worthy of living. Therefore, in our opinion, the protocol violates the traditional ethical codes of physicians and the moral values of the overwhelming majority of the citizens of the world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-26
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Bioethics
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Autonomy
  • Congenital abnormalities
  • Disabilities
  • Euthanasia
  • Medical ethics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Health Policy


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