NEW YORK, July 30, 2001 ( – The United Nations Human Rights Committee has expressed concern over the Dutch law allowing legal euthanasia which is to come into effect in January. On Friday, the Committee issued final recommendations on a report submitted by the Netherlands. The Committee asked the Netherlands to re-examine its euthanasia law to ensure “adequate safeguards against abuse or misuse.”

Committee rapporteur Eckart Klein said “The main worry is not only the actual practice, but also the fact that this new law could create precedents that dilute the importance and trivialize this act.” He stated “The practitioner could become practically insensitive and the act trivialized.” The Committee was seriously concerned that the new law was also applicable to minors who had reached the age of 12 years. Further, the Committee was gravely concerned at reports that newborn disabled infants had had their lives ended by medical personnel.

“The Netherlands is asked to collect information, within 12 months, on the application of commission recommendations regarding the euthanasia law and on the issue of postnatal infanticide,” the UN panel said

See the UN press release and the BBC coverage: