Rick Santorum made remarks about the Dutch elderly heath care at a Columbia, Missouri forum, hosted by James Dobson of Focus on the Family, which, according to Rachel Maddow’s Dutch translator, are funny, yet insulting to the Dutch, because apparently Santorum did not check his facts concerning the Netherlands.
Below are statements from a Dutch news source, translated with Google Translator:
He abhors abortion and euthanasia. And so he abhors the Netherlands. Because we in the Netherlands murder in his elderly that it is a delight.
This proclaims during his campaign. It was almost two weeks back on film. Euthanasia in the Netherlands would not always voluntary basis, he shocked his hearing on 6 February for. And Santorum did a little shovel unsubstantiated 'facts' in his claim.
What a fantasy that man anyway. It would be laughable if not Santorum just still very much in the race for the Republican candidate would be that later this year against Barack Obama needs to record in the race for the presidency of the most powerful country in the world.
Santorum stated over half of Dutch elderly people wear a bracelet that states, “Don’t euthanize me” and do not go to the hospital because the Dutch forces euthanasia on the elderly in their country. He continued to say that the elderly in the Netherlands see a doctor in another country just to keep hospitals in the Netherlands from euthanizing them. Santorum went on to insist that the Netherlands involuntarily euthanizes over half of their elderly.
Santorum's statements as transcribed by Maddow's website:
"In the Netherlands, people wear different bracelets if they are elderly," Santorum said. "And the bracelet is: 'Do not euthanize me.' Because they have voluntary euthanasia in the Netherlands but half of the people who are euthanized — 10% of all deaths in 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 are afraid, because of budget purposes, they will not come out of that hospital if they go in there with sickness."
After that, he jumped on the anti-abortion bandwagon again; blaming Obama for leading us down the road of killing people, including babies, saying that acceptance of abortion is the erosion of America.
Maddow’s Dutch translator, Erik Mouthaan, stated that none of what Santorum said is true concerning the elderly in the Netherlands and insulting to the Dutch. According to Mouthaan, euthanasia is voluntary in the Netherlands and not forced on anyone and people in the Netherlands are upset about his statements. He also stated that the Dutch are amazed that Santorum, who is running for presidency, is not only taken seriously, but is also allowed to “blithely and openly” lie.
According to the Netherlands’ rules on euthanasia, consent and a waiting period is required before a terminally ill patient is euthanized and if a doctor does it without the patient’s consent, they can be charged with murder. Everything must be documented before one is euthanized.
Of the 2,667 notifications on which the committees were able to reach conclusions in the year under review, they found in nine cases that the physician had not acted in accordance with Foreword 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 – sufficient reason to devote a symposium marking the departure of coordinating chair J.J.H. Suyver in December 2010 to the topic ‘Performance of euthanasia and assisted suicide with due medical care’.
According to the 2010 report, "Due Care" is as follows:
a be satisfied that the patient’s request is voluntary and well considered;
b be satisfied that the patient’s suffering is unbearable, with no prospect of improvement;
c inform the patient about his situation and prognosis;
d have come to the conclusion together with the patient that there is no reasonable alternative in the patient’s situation;
e consult at least one other, independent physician, who must see the patient and give a written opinion on whether the due care criteria set out in (a) to (d) have been fulfilled;
f exercise due medical care and attention in terminating the patient’s life or assisting in his suicide.
Apparently, the procedure is between the physician and the patient, as well as another second opinion from another doctor, insuring that the patient understands the situation and prognosis. The procedure is voluntary, without pressure from anyone, but the pain and suffering of one’s condition is assessed to make sure it is unbearable.
In the case of potential depression, which can contribute to the patient’s pain and suffering, the physician calls in a licensed practicing psychiatrist to access the mental condition of the individual to insure depression is not driving the patient to want death.
Depression often adds to the patient’s suffering (see, for example, case 13). The possibility that it will also adversely affect his decisional competence cannot be ruled out. If there is any doubt about whether the patient is depressed, a psychiatrist will in practice often be consulted in addition to the independent physician. The attending physician must therefore ascertain, or obtain confirmation, that the patient is decisionally competent. If other medical practitioners have been consulted, it is important to make this known to the committee.
Santorum, according to various sources and the Netherlands, "erroneously" made comments at the forum hosted by James Dobson, of Focus on the Family.
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.
A Dutch politician supposedly wants Santorum publically rebuked for the statements he made, but the Dutch embassy in Washington declined to comment on the remarks. The embassy spokeswoman stated that Dutch government wants to stay out of U.S. politics and not get involved with the Presidential process in the States, despite a member of Dutch Parliament wanting Santorum chastised for his comments about the Netherlands.
On Thursday, Dutch Member of Parliament Frans Timmermans, a leading member of the opposition left-leaning Labor Party inThe Hague, blasted his government’s silence.
“This cannot be allowed to rest,” he wrote, according to The Times.
According to Fact Check, Santorum "grossly mischaracterized" the Netherlands care for their elderly at the faith conference, at Grace Bible College in Columbia, Missouri, which prompted a “furious backlash from the Netherlands”.
- Santorum claimed legal euthanasia is responsible for “10 percent of all deaths for the Netherlands.” Government statistics show euthanasia is climbing, but represented only 2.3 percent in 2010, according to the most recent data.
- Santorum added that half of the people euthanized were killed “involuntarily.” A representative of the Royal Dutch Medical Association said “there are no forced cases of euthanasia.” Dutch euthanasia review boards found nine cases in 2010 where doctors “had not acted in accordance with the due care criteria,” mostly for how the procedure was performed — not because it was against anyone’s will.
- Santorum claimed the Dutch elderly wear bracelets that say “do not euthanize me,” but the Dutch government and medical association say no such bracelets exists. Santorum “might be confused with a ‘do not resuscitate’ bracelet or necklace” worn by some patients, a medical association representative said.
According to Huffington Post, the statistics given in the 2010 by the Regional Euthanasia Review Committees report of the 3,136 cases of euthanasia are 2.3 percent of the 136,058 total deaths in the Netherlands were assisted suicide. Even the Huffington Post characterized Santorum’s remarks about euthanasia in the Netherlands as grossly misrepresenting the facts and none of what he stated is true, which the Netherlands are contesting.