“We agree that in certain situations it is reasonable and desirable to limit the level of care in these severely disabled and suffering infants: but the direct taking of human life crosses a major boundary line. Almost all civilised societies distinguish between an active act of taking another life and merely standing by and watching someone die. This distinction is recognised by most religions but is particularly felt by physicians and nurses, who have to perform the act, and who for centuries resisted the deliberate taking of human life…
Alternatives to euthanasia in the care of these infants certainly exist. Paediatric palliative care emphasises an interdisciplinary team approach to the physical, social, and psychological needs of the patient and their families, with expert management of pain and associated symptoms. This holistic philosophy of pain control, symptom management, and psychosocial support should be the standard of care for children with life threatening illnesses and resources should be provided for its implementation.
The sole criterion for ending the life of these infants is their poor quality of life. Who gave physicians the right to determine quality of life and to practise euthanasia on that basis? Infants need to be protected by society irrespective of their medical condition and not condemned to die. In many countries physicians have already abandoned the longstanding honourable medical tradition of not deliberately terminating human life, by accepting a policy of active euthanasia in terminally ill competent adults; there is no justification for extending that policy to suffering children.”2005