Groningen Protocolとは

Hastings Center Reportの新着が届いた。ぱらぱら見ていたら、オランダの「グローニンゲン・プロトコル」(オランダ語ではフローニンゲンか?)についての論説が載っていた。Hilde Lindemann; Marian Verkerk, "Ending the Life of a Newborn: The Groningen Protocol" HCR 38,no.1(2008):42-51.

Hastings Center Report論文の冒頭部分は、ウェブで読める。



Suffering is a subjective feeling that cannot be measured objectively, whether in adults or in infants. But we accept that adults can indicate when their suffering is unbearable. Infants cannot express their feelings through speech, but they do so through different types of crying, movements, and reactions to feeding. Pain scales for newborns, based on changes in vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing pattern) and observed behavior, may be used to determine the degree of discomfort and pain. Experienced caregivers and parents are able to evaluate the degree of suffering in a newborn, as well as the degree of relief afforded by medication or other measures. In the Netherlands, euthanasia for competent persons older than 16 years of age has been legally accepted since 1985. The question under consideration now is whether deliberate life-ending procedures are also acceptable for newborns and infants, despite the fact that these patients cannot express their own will. Or must infants with disorders associated with severe and sustained suffering be kept alive when their suffering cannot be adequately reduced?