Czechs condemn euthanasia proposal for children (Update)

June 20, 2014

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.

Explore further: Quebec passes law allowing assisted suicide

Related Stories

Quebec passes law allowing assisted suicide

June 6, 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.

Health law tricky for parents of Medicaid kids

January 26, 2014
Parents shopping for health insurance through the new federal marketplace are running into trouble when their children might be eligible for Medicaid but they are not.

UK court rules against euthanasia (Update)

July 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

Opioids and obesity, not 'despair deaths,' raising mortality rates for white Americans

July 20, 2017
Drug-related deaths among middle-aged white men increased more than 25-fold between 1980 and 2014, with the bulk of that spike occurring since the mid-1990s when addictive prescription opioids became broadly available, according ...

Aging Americans enjoy longer life, better health when avoiding three risky behaviors

July 20, 2017
We've heard it before from our doctors and other health experts: Keep your weight down, don't smoke and cut back on the alcohol if you want to live longer.

Parents have critical role in preventing teen drinking

July 20, 2017
Fewer teenagers are drinking alcohol but more needs to be done to curb the drinking habits of Australian school students, based on the findings of the latest study by Adelaide researchers.

Fresh fish oil lowers diabetes risk in rat offspring

July 19, 2017
Fresh fish oil given to overweight pregnant rats prevented their offspring from developing a major diabetes risk factor, Auckland researchers have found.

High-dose vitamin D doesn't appear to reduce the winter sniffles for children

July 18, 2017
Giving children high doses of vitamin D doesn't appear to reduce the winter sniffles, a new study has found.

Scientists develop new supplement that can repair, rejuvenate muscles in older adults

July 18, 2017
Whey protein supplements aren't just for gym buffs according to new research from McMaster university. When taken on a regular basis, a combination of these and other ingredients in a ready-to-drink formula have been found ...

0 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.