Netherlands Accused of Refusing to Treat Elderly Coronavirus Patients

International   |   Alex Schadenberg   |   Mar 30, 2020   |   3:44PM   |   Amsterdam, Netherlands

An article by Salvador Aragonés published by claims that the Netherlands is rationing healthcare by denying treatment to patients based on age.  Aragonés also claims that the Netherlands is blaming the financial crisis in Italy and Spain is caused by their medical treatment policy. Aragonés writes (google translated);

A great scandal is caused in Europe, and not only in Europe, with the systematic attitude of the Netherlands in treating coronavirus patients in their territory by age, even before their hospitals are full.

According to statements by Dr. Frits Rosendaal, head of clinical epidemiology at the Leiden University Medical Center, and a member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences and Art, with many awards and recognized merits. This well known doctor in the Netherlands is now battling the coronavirus, comments on how hospital admissions for the Covid-19 virus are followed in the Netherlands, while criticizing the way of life of Italy and Spain.

The doctor (Rosendaal) said: “In Italy, the ICU capacity is managed very differently [from the Dutch]. They admit patients that we would not include because they are too old. The elderly have a very different position in Italian culture.” He (Rosendaal) does not understand how in these southern European countries they admit “old people to the ICU”. The Netherlands does not hospitalize the weak and the elderly in order to make room for young people. He attributes it to a “cultural difference” between the Netherlands and the Latin countries.

Aragonés links the Dutch policy of not treating elderly Covid-19 patients with euthanasia. He states (google translated):

…in the Netherlands as in Belgium, euthanasia has been applied for years, according to the authorities, “voluntary”. However, in Germany, and in France, Spain and Italy, they have received elderly patients from these countries to be cured, not of coronaviruses, but of anything, because they do not trust the hospitals of their country: euthanasia is not Voluntary, they say, nor is it respected – not infrequently – the will of the person to whom euthanasia is applied.

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Aragonés then states that Dutch finance minister Wopke Hoekstra is urging the European parliament to investigate “wasted finances” in Portugal and Spain related to Covid-19.

On March 28, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a bulletin upholding the equality and human rights of people with disabilities and the elderly concerning treatment decisions and healthcare allocation.

Treatment and care related to the Covid-19 has clearly affected relations between European nations. Note: Alex Schadenberg is the executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and you can read his blog here.