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Your Views: Dutch practice of euthanasia is not worth emulating
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In response to Jan Lucas Kuiper's letter of March 8, I would like to point out a few facts that might take the allure from the picture painted concerning European socialized health care.

Apparently Jan is not aware of or intentionally fails to mention some of the ugly facts about socialized medicine in the Netherlands. A study was conducted by Jan Remmelink, attorney general to the High Council of the Netherlands, on the practice of euthanasia. The Remmelink report opened the eyes of both the people of the Netherlands and the world to extent of the practice of euthanasia.

Remmelink found that 49,000 of the 130,000 deaths in the Netherlands each year were not natural but involved a "medical decision at the end of life." Niney-five percent of these cases involve, in equal numbers, withholding treatment or discontinuing life support or the alleviation of pain and symptoms through medication that hasten death. But all had or have coverage.

In 30 years, the Dutch have moved from assisted suicide to euthanasia, from euthanasia of people who are terminally ill to euthanasia of those who are chronically ill, from euthanasia for the physical illness to euthanasia for the mentally ill, from euthanasia for mental illness to euthanasia for psychological distress or mental suffering, and from voluntary euthanasia to involuntary euthanasia, or as the Dutch prefer to call it "termination of the patient without explicit request."

Cost containment is one of the main objectives of health care policy in the Netherlands. The Dutch have stumbled upon the obvious fact that a dead patient cost less than a live one. (Unfortunately several other countries in the EU seem to be following the Dutch approach to the sanctity of life.)

As I watch the never-ending stream of misinformation by the Democrats and our president, one thing rings out loud and clear: It is not about better patient care and coverage; it is about life control and Obama's ego. Obamacare has the very real possibility of eventually creating the same situation the Dutch are now dealing with. Do we want to open this floodgate?

My wife and I trust and respect our doctors. We are blessed to have such a great hospital in our county where we know we will be treated well by caring and compassionate people. Let's us strive to maintain this situation. Without the care we have received in the past, from these dedicated people, we would not be here today.

We recognize that some improvements can be made, as in any system, but let's do it in the context of what is best for all the citizens of our country, and what we can afford, not for someone's legacy. However, it is very difficult for me to envision the people who fouled up Medicare, the Veterans Administration, Social Security and created our astronomical debt "fixing" our health care system. Remember, socialized programs work well until you run out of other people's money.

Gary Gambrell

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