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|Wayne in WA State||
Posted: Feb 26 2012, 01:46 AM
Member No.: 1466
Joined: 14-September 06
The Dutch Embassy in Washington declined to comment on Wednesday on recent remarks by Rick Santorum, the Republican presidential candidate, in which he claimed, falsely, that forced euthanasia accounts for 5 percent of all deaths in the Netherlands.
An embassy spokeswoman, Carla Bundy, explained that the Dutch government preferred not to intervene in an American political campaign. But Ms. Bundy did provide The Lede with documents and official statistics showing that there are no provisions of Dutch law that permit forced euthanasia. Voluntary euthanasia, which has been legal since 2002, accounted for about 2 percent of deaths in the Netherlands in 2010.
As Jonathan Turley, a legal blogger, explained on Monday, the Dutch law permitting euthanasia is unambiguous about the requirement that it be voluntary, and lawmakers mandated that each case be carefully reviewed by an expert panel.
It not only requires consent but a waiting period. If a doctor dispatches someone without their consent or satisfying the tight controls, he is charged with murder.
The doctor must document that he or she confirmed that the patient requesting euthanasia or assisted suicide is making a voluntary and informed request. The record must also show that the patient was suffering unbearably and was fully informed about the prospects. Then a second doctor must examine the patient and supply a second written opinion on the satisfaction of the criteria.
According to a Dutch government report, experts who reviewed 2,667 requests for euthanasia in 2010 “found in nine cases that the physician had not acted in accordance with the due care criteria. In five of these cases, it was the way in which the euthanasia or assisted-suicide procedure was performed that was deemed not to comply with the criteria.”
As the Web site Buzzfeed reported, Mr. Santorum’s erroneous comments, made at a public forum hosted by the conservative leader James Dobson on Feb. 3, failed to attract much notice until they were fact-checked, and mocked, in the Dutch press last weekend.
Mr. Santorum’s remarks were not audible in video highlights of the “American Heartland” forum in Columbia, Miss., on his official YouTube channel — edited, music video style, to a driving rock beat. But his claims about the Netherlands were posted on YouTube by Right Wing Watch, a project of People for the American Way. That video showed Mr. Santorum claiming that elderly Dutch people wear a bracelet reading “Do not euthanize me.” Over audible gasps from the audience, he continued:
Because they have voluntary euthanasia in the Netherlands, but half the people who are euthanized every year — and it’s 10 percent of all deaths for the Netherlands — half of those people are euthanized involuntarily, at hospitals, because they are older and sick. And so elderly people in the Netherlands don’t go to the hospital, they go to another country, because they’re afraid because of budget purposes that they will not come out of that hospital if they go into it with sickness.
As Buzzfeed noted, Dutch journalists found it easy to refute Mr. Santorum’s statistics, and made fun of his “fact-free” claim that euthanasia was forced on anyone, but they had no idea where he got the idea that the nation’s elderly wear “Do not euthanize me” bracelets.
Ms. Bundy, the embassy spokeswoman, told The Washington Post, “According to the Ministry of Health, ‘Do not euthanize me’ bracelets do not exist in the Netherlands.”
Mr. Santorum’s campaign did not respond to a request to explain who or what the candidate’s sources were. Glenn Kessler, who writes The Washington Post’s Fact Checker blog, suggested on Wednesday that the candidate was repeating unsubstantiated rumors found online.
A Web site known as Right Wing News last year published an article which asserted that “over 10,000 (Dutch) citizens carry ‘Do not euthanize me’ cards in case they are ever admitted to a hospital unexpectedly.” The source was the Louisiana Right to Life Federation, which in turn cited no specific source except possibly the Nightingale Alliance, which opposes euthanasia. But this group does not appear to have published any actual figures.
In a letter to The British Medical Journal last year, a Dutch euthanasia specialist wrote that such cards do not exist. “What does exist is a living will (the levenswensverklaring), which is distributed by the Christian Dutch Patient Association,” in which people can “state that active life termination is not an acceptable option.” He wrote that it is unclear how many people had completed such a living will.
At the end of his post, Mr. Turley, the legal blogger, concluded: “Putting aside these tiny factual disagreements, it is good to finally see a politician willing to take on our greatest threat: the Dutch. Dutch propagandists like Rembrandt, Vermeer and Van Gogh have already infiltrated our schools and museums. Our leaders (expect Santorum) are deaf to the growing sound of their wooden-shoe stomping, marzipan-eating hordes.”
Posted: Feb 26 2012, 01:58 PM
Member No.: 455
Joined: 8-November 04
every time he opens his mouth Rick Santorum offends someone
Posted: Feb 26 2012, 05:35 PM
Member No.: 67
Joined: 18-June 04
He does seem to do so.
I love his most recent comments that JFK's speech on seperation of church and state make him vomit and that the President is a snob for wanting everyone to have the opportunity to go to college.
Posted: Feb 26 2012, 11:01 PM
Member No.: 209
Joined: 19-June 04