Our lovely friend Rick Santorum:
In the Netherlands, people wear different bracelets if they are elderly. And the bracelet is: ‘Do not euthanize me.’ Because they have voluntary euthanasia in the Netherlands but half of the people who are euthanized — ten percent of all deaths in the Netherlands — half of those people are enthanized 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.
It always makes me happy when other people know how things work over here Now the good part. The Washington Post did fact checking! With a disclamer too! (Spoiler alert: Rick gets four Pinoccio’s, a high-score mark)
Full disclosure: The Fact Checker’s parents emigrated from Holland and I have direct, personal experience with the practice of euthanasia there. My father’s brother requested euthanasia when he was diagnosed with a terminal disease and after various remedies were ineffective. In the United States, he might have lived another two or three months, in great pain, and likely would have lapsed into a coma before death. But, after a conclusion by the Dutch medical establishment that he had no chance of survival, he arranged for his death at home with his family at his side. He even called me an hour before his death to say good-bye.
Hmmmm, now how does that disclaimer sound? Oh and just for the record, I have never seen a Santorum bracelet in my life! Idiot.
On second thought, let me add a semi-personal note to this. A ex-colleague and good friend of mine told me his fathers story. I will quote freely.
My dad was a janitor at a high school and he was smart, very socially engaged and immensely popular. One day he had an awful stroke which left him paralyzed all over. He could not speak, just write on a small chalk board. His vision was badly impaired too: he could only see a rather small “tunnel” somewhere above and to the side of his center of vision. Most of the time he was looking at the ceiling. His mental capabilities were unaffected.
One day I came to visit him and he pointed me to a stack of documents, indicating I should read them. To my surprise and initial horror it was the entire legal and medical paperwork for his own euthanasia. He had consulted a doctor, the mandatory second opinion, etcetera, etcetera, all by himself. My mom was unable to support him in this in any way. Of course we talked about it through great length, but it was very clear he had made up his mind. He had decided that he had had a wonderful and fulfilling life, and that living on would simply be a dishonor to who he was.
And so, very eerie, a date was set for him to die. Weird. My calendar: May 20th [y-t: I am making up the date of course]: Dad dies, and it was 2 months in the future. When the day finally came, we were all there to say our farewells. Then, the doctor came, who asked him one final time if this was what he really wanted. It was. He administered the lethal injection and we witnessed him peacefully slide away.