Czechs condemn euthanasia proposal for children (Update)

A senior university lecturer and Czech government adviser has been forced to resign for proposing to legalize euthanasia for children born with birth defects, officials said Friday.

Miroslav Mitloehner drew strong protests after he argued in a recent article published in the Journal of Medical Law and Bioethics that "it makes no sense to prolong the life of a baby born as a monster."

Mitloehner said doctors should be allowed to terminate babies' lives without parents' consent, adding that their disabilities led to the question "whether such a freak is a human being at all."

Mitloehner said society should have the courage to agree to "legally end their life in the course of pregnancy or immediately after the birth."

Vaclav Krasa, the chairman of a major organization of the disabled, compared the views to "Nazi thinking."

Krasa said his Czech National Disability Council was shocked by the article and said "it is absolutely unacceptable to use the term 'freak' for human beings born with defects."

The University of Hradec Kralove where Mitloehner was the director of the Institute of Social Work said Friday he was fired from the post, while the Labor Ministry dismissed him from its scientific council.

"I don't say that someone should be killed. What I say in the article is that we should not support life functions when it's clear from the beginning that it will lead to nothing good." the 78-year-old Mitloehner told Czech public radio.

Meanwhile, the scientific journal said it had since discovered that Mitloehner published the same article in a different journal in 1986 and it would not publish him anymore.

Calls to Mitloehner went unanswered.

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Quebec passes law allowing assisted suicide

Jun 06, 2014

Canada's Quebec province adopted legislation Thursday allowing terminally ill patients to kill themselves with a doctor's help, becoming the first jurisdiction in the country to effectively legalize assisted suicide.

UK court rules against euthanasia (Update)

Jul 31, 2013

A British appeals court upheld a law against euthanasia in rejecting appeals from two severely disabled men who argued that doctors should be allowed to legally kill them.

Recommended for you

The hunt for botanicals

17 hours ago

Herbal medicine can be a double-edged sword and should be more rigorously investigated for both its beneficial and harmful effects, say researchers writing in a special supplement of Science.

Mozambique decriminalises abortion to stem maternal deaths

18 hours ago

Mozambique has passed a law permitting women to terminate unwanted pregnancies under specified conditions, a move hailed by activists in a country where clandestine abortions account for a large number of maternal deaths.

Infertility, surrogacy in India

19 hours ago

Infertility is a growing problem worldwide. A World Health Organization report estimates that 60-to-80 million couples worldwide currently suffer from infertility.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.