Human Exceptionalism

Dutch Reporters Miss Stories on “Do Not Euthanize Me” Cards

I have received some comment from correspondents claiming to be Dutch and reporters, contesting my article yesterday that describes some of the Dutch euthanasia horrors.  They don’t claim I am wrong that about 1% of Dutch deaths are “termination without request or consent,” e.g. non voluntary euthanasia.  They don’t deny that Dutch doctors commit infanticide.  They don’t deny that the country is moving toward euthanizing the elderly who are “tired of life.”  No, they contest that some people carry cards in their wallets saying that they don’t want to be euthanized if they become incompetent or are brought to a hospital in an emergency.

But they do. Here are some examples.  From the BBC:

As the habit of killing catches on, the voluntary element is lost. Patients in Holland are having to carry cards saying: “Please, doctor, DON’T kill me.”

From Psychology Today:

Back in the Netherlands, there are some old people who carry cards that say, “Please, Doctor, DON’T Kill Me!”

Dr. Herbert Hendin, an expert on Dutch euthanasia in Issues in Law and Medicine:

…a Protestant group also opposed to euthanasia, they distribute a “passport for life” that patients carry, indicating that in medical emergencies they do not want their lives terminated without their consent.

From U.S. News and World Report:

Some opponents, like members of the Dutch Patients’ Association, fear involuntary euthanasia. They carry anti-euthanasia “passports” to tell health care workers that they wish to live in case of emergency

From Euthanasia blog:

Do you know that the Dutch can have three passports? One is for proving nationality when they go on an overseas travel. The rest of the two are “euthanasia passport” and “life passport”. “Euthanasia passport” is for asking doctors to carry out euthanasia if they fall into coma. “Life passport” is for refusing euthanasia even if they fall into coma. That is to say, these two passports are mobile living will to indicate how they die. Both of them are postcard size and published by NGO (NVVE).

The “life passport” intends to protect people who don’t want euthanasia from being lethally injected if they are incompetent or are admitted into a hospital during an emergency.  It clearly exists.  If non voluntary euthanasia weren’t a reality in the Netherlands, a “do not euthanize me” card wouldn’t be needed.

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