Jasper Emmering, MD, Research Physician, in a Dec. 7, 2004 entry titled "In Defense of the Groningen Protocol," posted to his blog site, Hollandaise; Home of Total Blogging, wrote:

“I have seen an anencephalic child be born at full term in the Netherlands because the mother had refused an abortion. And I’ve seen the child die half an hour later. You see, in a liberal society, a woman’s right to choose works both ways.

The reverse of mercy killing is not life, but a life of suffering…Killing is wrong, but so is torture. An adult patient who is compos mentis [of sound mind] who requests euthanasia considers life (such as he can live it) to be a fate worse than death…

There are always a few very unlucky innocent children who suffer from the most terrible afflictions. They usually die at an early age, after a few years of intense suffering. As with all children, their parents are entitled to withhold any treatment from their children, even life-saving treatment. After all, the parents are the child’s legal guardians, and children’s lives are routinely put in jeopardy by religious parents who refuse them vaccinations or blood transfusions. However, in these cases, even though withholding treatment would lead to a quicker death, it would also increase the suffering of the child. Actively ending the child’s life would be painless. The temptation for mercy killing is there and has always been there. It is a fact of life. Like with euthanasia, mercy killing of suffering infants will not go away when you prohibit it. You can even ask yourself if there will be more mercy killings when you legalize it. Considering the rarity of these illnesses, the strictness of the [Groningen] protocol, and the commonness and strength of parental love, I really doubt that.

Better to have it out in the open where people like yourself can scrutinize the process, then to have parents, doctors and nurses risk years in prison for committing something they and many others see as a selfless act of mercy.”

Dec. 7, 2004