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March 10, 2005
Getting The Story Right, Even Here At CQ

The main currency of a blogger -- perhaps the only currency -- is credibility. If we expect to be taken seriously, then we need to make sure we get our facts straight, and if we make a mistake, to acknowledge it. Of course, none of us like to admit we missed something important (heck, who does?), but when we do we need to correct the record.

Last night I posted about Dutch euthanasia and the Groningen Protocol. In doing so, I used my original source material, an AP wire report that first brought the practice to my attention. The blog PBS Watch and CQ reader Superhawk both pointed out to me that the AP report contained a substantial error -- that the protocol could be used to override a parental objection. But that isn't what Groningen proposed, as PBS Watch noted (emphasis mine):

The Groningen Protocol has five criteria: the suffering must be so severe that the newborn has no prospects of a future; there is no possibility of a cure or alleviation with medication or surgery; the parents must always give their consent; a second opinion must be provided by an independent doctor who has not been involved with the childs treatment; and the deliberate ending of life must be meticulously carried out with the emphasis on aftercare.

Whether or not the Dutch actually follow that protocol now may be open to dispute, but in any case, the Dutch medical establishment has not called for the state to override the decision of both parents.

I still think that the Protocol is a ghastly concept, one that cheapens human life to a mere convenience and ignores the sacred nature of humanity. If any evidence of this is needed, just take a look at the percentage of Dutch and especially French physicians who have euthanized newborns during their career. However, it would be dishonest for me to say that the originally reported issue of disregarding parental wishes did not amplify the ghoulishness of the Protocol, and so something more than a mere update is required to correct it. My apologies for not re-checking the story against further developments go out to y'all, and thanks for PBS Watch and Superhawk for bringing it to my attention.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at March 10, 2005 12:55 PM

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» CQ Repeats Incorrect AP Story from PBS Watch
The blogosphere works! At the speed of cyberspace! In a model example of how the medium is supposed to work, Captain Ed graciously responded to my e-mail with a revised story and link. [Read More]

Tracked on March 10, 2005 1:52 PM

» Culture of Death Update from Sierra Sanity
In Texas, family doesn't matter -- certainly a family's opinion on the life or death of children. Not to put too fine a point on it, but those of us with special children harbor deep, deep revulsion at the thought of the State defining when innocent l... [Read More]

Tracked on March 15, 2005 11:37 PM



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