Dutch Outraged Over Santorum’s False Euthanasia Claim
Santorum said in an interview with social conservative leader James Dobson earlier this month that euthanasia makes up “ten percent of all deaths, and half of those people are euthanized involuntarily, because they are old or sick. And so elderly people in the Netherlands don’t go into a hospital. They go to other country.”
The Dutch public broadcaster Radio 1 described Santorum’s remark as “fact-free politics,” and the comments have gotten wide play, leading this evening’s broadcast of the country’s popular current-event’s show De Wereld Draait Door and drawing reports all over the national media.
The Dutch sources estimate that legal euthanasia is the cause of what the Christian paper Nederlands Dagblad put at 3.2% fo deaths at the most liberal estimate, and others put around 2%. Public statistics, which have been reported since the practice was legalized in 2002, cite 3,136 reports of euthanasia out of a total of 136,000 in the Netherlands in 2011, a bit more than 2%.
The Dutch were also flummoxed by Santorum’s claim that Dutch elderly wear “Don’t Euthanize Me” bracelets.
Other reports label Santorum a “crazy extreme Catholic” with “a surreal view of the Netherlands.”
Are old people in the Netherlands afraid to go to the hospital because they might be involuntarily euthanized?
Santorum really is doing a good job of living up to the alternative meaning of his name.
And all the Republicans have a habit of bashing Europe to pander to the republican base. How do Europeans feel about this?