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Prince Friso unlikely to be cared for in the Netherlands

Monday 27 February 2012

It is unlikely that prince Friso, left seriously brain damaged and in a coma after a skiing accident, will be cared for in the Netherlands because there is no specialist institution to take him, according to media reports.

The Netherlands has one centre which focuses on stimulating coma patients but it will only take people under the age of 25. The prince is 43.

The Leijpark centre in Tilburg bases the cut-off at 25 on medical research. 'Brains develop until one is 25. After then there is no further renewal of the brain cells,' Vincent Buitendijk, director of the Libra care group, told news agency ANP at the weekend.


There is no pressure to set up a specialist clinic for adults in the Netherlands because treatment to try to wake up older coma patients is not covered by Dutch health insurance, website nu.nl states.

According to the AD, the prince may be taken to Liege in Belgium, where the main teaching hospital has a unit which specialises in testing and treating patients in a coma.

The prince spent some 25 minutes under the snow after being hit by an avalanche while on a skiing holiday in the Austrian resort of Lech 10 days ago.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

Lots of foreigners resident in the Netherlands travel abroad for treatment that is either unavailable or not covered by the Dutch insurance companies here. Sad for the prince and his family.

By Simon | 27 February 2012 9:24 AM

Oh really? No insurance coverage? Surprise, surprise. And even the Royal Family finds it ridiculous. How charming.

By Stupid | 27 February 2012 10:57 AM

So what happens to you if you are older than 25 years old and fall in a coma in Holland?

By Tiger | 27 February 2012 2:05 PM

Hopefully as I am 50, I will get married to a Dutch prince so if I ever go into a coma, someone will pay for me to be woken up rather than allowed to die..........so much for no class system in Holland lol

By Carol | 27 February 2012 2:38 PM

I am going to say what no one is saying. Why don't they let him go? He has no chance of a normal life. He is severely brain damaged. Fifteen minutes without oxygen and then 50 minutes to get a heartbeat. It is time for him to rest in peace. Who would want to live like that?

By Patty | 27 February 2012 5:40 PM

Surely they can afford to set up a hospital room with the equipment needed in one of the palaces.

By Chezzie | 27 February 2012 8:25 PM

I truely belive that the prince or anyone else in his position rather would die than lie as a vegetable year after year. It is a horrible situation for the pations family.

By Gabriella | 27 February 2012 8:40 PM

Such a tragic story. I hope they can all move forward and find a suitable rehabilitation centre for the Prince.

By Mary | 28 February 2012 1:07 AM

Tiger, Carol has it right. What happens is that you die. Period. If you are not infinitely wealthy, like the Prince, you are simply allowed to die. And that's pretty much all there is to that. And oh by the way, it's pretty much the same way here in the US, too.

By The Cat Lady | 28 February 2012 4:57 AM

The only way to have the possibility to survive a coma in The Netherlands is to make sure you are not in The Netherlands but to be moved to an other country. In The Netherlands doctors will tell your spouse,partner or family within a couple of days after you got in to a coma: sorry we cannot help you and they pull the plug.

The Dutch health care does not exist anymore, is determined by incompetent doctors and the insurance companies.

By Koenraad | 28 February 2012 7:55 AM

"So what happens to you if you are older than 25 years old and fall in a coma in Holland?"
According to Santorum, we euthanise them all. Seriously, though, as much as i dislike Santorum, i don't think his claims on euthanasia are that far fetched. We all know how humane and caring health care is in this country.

By Alice | 28 February 2012 7:57 AM

as unfortunate as this for the royal family...is keeping him in a coma really what's best? He has extensive brain damage and isn't likely to wake. If he does he will be severely handicapped according to the reports... Maybe its best if they just let him pass peacefully. Horrible situation and my condolences to them.
It is odd though that insurance doesn't cover coma care for people over the age of 25...so if you have minor brain damage, which you'd likely recover from and you are 30, yet in a coma, you have to got to belgium?

By sarah | 28 February 2012 9:39 AM

One of my colleagues was in an accident and ended up in a coma. The Dutch doctors wanted to pull the plug only after a week after the accident. My colleague's parents who are also doctors insisted that he gets moved back to his country of origin where they can care for him. He woke up 5 weeks later and made a full recovery! He would have been dead if the Dutch doctors have their way.

By AnotherExpat | 28 February 2012 11:11 AM

The human brain is one of the organs that modern medicine still does not fully understand. While some medical tests can indicate the level of brain (in)activity, they are by far not conclusive as proven by so many cases where coma patients have waken up and made a full recovery despite being declared brain dead. There is always hope for coma patients.

By AnotherExpat | 28 February 2012 11:15 AM

It is reallly a painfull matter to what happined to the Royal Family. Am wishing them to get a better solution into this horrible situation. It may be a good waking up call for the Dutch people to re-think and get a better suitable health services. It is an odd thouth our insurances firms can nott cover a coma patients over the age of 22!!.

By Jim | 28 February 2012 12:24 PM

I am horrified to hear that if you fall in a coma here in the Netherlands and you are older than 25 you are simply going to die. IS THIS REALLY TRUE?

By A girl | 28 February 2012 12:45 PM

I wish him to wake up again as his health condition in God's hand.

By N | 28 February 2012 1:41 PM

This isn't about coma 'care' for over 25s, but stimulation therapy for over 25s. If the royal family wishes to spend its money on a private clinic in some vain hope he'll make a full recovery (and wouldn't we all do that for a loved one if we could afford it, even if we knew deep inside that it was futile?) then let them spend it - I doubt this guy has dutch health insurance as he's been living in the UK for years anyway, so it's a mute point.

Parent of a NAH-youth myself, can I just for the record say that both the rehab and social support in the Netherlands is 1st class and completely paid by insurers.

By osita | 28 February 2012 5:44 PM

Let's say he does wake up. What's the chance he does not recognize his family etc or remember his former life? What if he is a child in an adult's body? That would be pretty sad.

By PJ | 28 February 2012 6:46 PM

I'm glad I live in the US where there are plenty of state-of-the-art medical centers to deal with all types of medical issues (including comas and brain damage) and, one way or another, someone needing advanced care will get it, regardless of age. So much for the much lauded government run health care systems of Europe. I hope Obummer Care gets overturned so that we never have the governmetn interfering in our medical care.

By Juan | 28 February 2012 7:31 PM

Most who can afford it come to the US.

By concerned | 28 February 2012 9:57 PM

Ugh... What a sad state of affairs is healthcare in this country. My decision to give up on the buitenlander-unfriendly job market and return home to Canada looks better and better every day. Congratulations outsider-haters in Holland - I'm leaving. I love your country but your country doesn't seem to love me.

By Stupid | 29 February 2012 9:37 AM

The royal family is in a very odd position here. They can't just let Prince Friso be euthanised like other similar cases as his. Most likely reason is that the royalties are public figures and whatever decision they made for Friso, it'll be fiercely debated from political stance to religious grounds. My guess is that they're just waiting, buying time to take it all in. After all, the public is harsh!

By Crystallyn | 29 February 2012 9:39 AM

the libra chappie is wrong and out of date. brain cells do renew after 25 years. this has been evident from research over the past 15 years. hypebaric oxygen sessions for instance step up natural stem production and these cells migrate to the brain.

By peter maccann | 1 March 2012 8:36 PM

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