"We believe that all cases must be reported," they write, "if the country is to prevent uncontrolled and unjustified euthanasia and if we are to discuss the issue publicly and thus further develop norms regarding euthanasia in newborns."
But even the careful development of protocols for euthanasia is unlikely to quell professional and ethical concerns.
"I am troubled by the active termination of life for conditions that many would consider neither hopeless nor filled with unbearable suffering," said Holzman.
"The practice reported and protocol advocated represent a significant slide down the slippery slope," said Susan M. Wolf, professor of law and medicine at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
Wolf noted that many people born with spina bifida go on to lead highly productive lives.
"The supposed requirement of unbearable suffering seems actually to mean that doctors and parents project a poor quality of life in the future," she said. "Allowing euthanasia on those grounds should cause great concern."