Elderly Dutch Patients Asked to Choose: Ventilation or Let COVID-19 'Run Its Course'
Doctors ask older citizens to make a choice to prioritize ventilators for younger patients
Elderly coronavirus patients in the Netherlands are being asked by their doctors to choose whether they receive ventilation treatment or take their chances and let the deadly Chinese virus "run its course."
Dutch doctors are asking all older citizens to make a choice, in advance of becoming infected with COVID-19, whether they'd be willing to risk dying naturally from the disease.
All residents in the Netherlands who have passed a certain age will be asked to put it in writing whether or not they would want to be put on one of the hospital's ventilators - which are in short supply.
Due to the high risk of death for elderly patients not being placed on ventilation, a report by Dutch outlet Il Giornale characterized the option as a form of “euthanasia.”
Health officials have begun making the calls as Dutch hospitals become overwhelmed with crowding.
As cases rise, doctors are forced to prioritize life-saving ventilators for younger patients who are more likely to survive.
As of Monday, the Netherlands has garnered 11,750 confirmed cases and 864 deaths.
Sinds gisteren zijn er in Nederland:— RIVM (@rivm) March 30, 2020
- 93 mensen overleden aan COVID-19 gemeld (Totaal 864)
- 507 mensen opgenomen (geweest) in het ziekenhuis (Totaal 3.990)
- 884 mensen positief getest (Totaal 11.750)#COVID19 #coronavirus
In order to avoid overwhelming hospitals, national health authorities appear to have invited doctors to contact Dutch seniors.
All residents over a certain age are presented with two choices: “long ventilation” or letting the disease run its course.
“In short, we are faced with a sort of natural selection masked by selective euthanasia,” said Il Giornale of the two choices.
The report added that the move was called “chilling” by the leader of the Party for Freedom, Geert Wilders.
Wilders has asked the Minister of Health and Deputy Prime Minister Hugo de Jonge to intervene.
However, the Dutch parliament is nonetheless considering the introduction of assisted suicide for “completed life.”
Il Giornale noted that measures to contain the disease were tightened in the Netherlands on Saturday.
A ban on gatherings of more than three people until June 1st introduced.
Everyone has also been mandated to remain at a distance of at least 1.5 meters from one another.
Moreover, schools, bars, restaurants, and hairdressers are now closed.
Citizens have been asked to self-isolate in their homes unless they must leave to go to work or shop for necessities.