When Rick Santorum first started talking about how the Dutch euthanize their elderly, it elicited gasps. He said that euthanasia was legal in Holland. He told audiences that old people in Holland wear bracelets that say “Do Not Euthanize Me” and are afraid to be hospitalized because 10% of all hospital deaths are from euthanasia every year. He said that half of those are involuntary.
Those statements have been refuted by Dutch people again and again. The Dutch government has issued statements of their own, clarifying how euthanasia a) is not “legal”, but that b) there are exemptions from prosecution for doctors who comply with a patients wishes to die. All this only happens c) after a lengthy process to prevent abuses. (pdf doc)
A website has even been launched that sells “Dutch bracelets” as a spoof of Santorum’s outrageous comments.
But, a Dutch reporter spoke to one of Santorum’s campaign members recently and asked why the candidate made such a statement in the first place. The answer he got was priceless campaign two-stepping. The video is trending on YouTube and should be shown in every PoliSci class.