Ethical and Legal Acceptability of the Use of Neuromuscular Blockers (NMBs) in Connection With Abstention Decisions in Dutch NICUs: Interviews With Neonatologists
Journal of medical ethics 2011 Jan; 37(1): 29-33
In the Netherlands, using drugs to deliberately end the life of a severely defective newborn baby who is in extreme suffering can be permissible under very precise circumstances. This does not mean that all Dutch neonatologists are willing to engage in such behaviour. This paper discusses the use of neuromuscular blockers (NMBs) in connection with abstention decisions in neonatology and the boundaries between 'deliberate ending of life' and other end-of-life decisions. These boundaries are of paramount importance because, of all end-of-life decisions, only 'deliberate ending of life' must be reported by the responsible doctor and exposes him to the risk of being prosecuted.
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