Sunday, August 25, 2013

Remembering Prince Friso

Prince Friso with his family before the skiing accident

Prince Johan Friso, of the Netherlands, has died at 44 in his mother's residence, the Huis ten Bosch Palace in The Hague where he was with family on vacation.

He remained in a coma for a year and a half after being hit by an avalanche at an Austrian ski resort in 2012.

The prince was buried in the small village of Lage Vuursche, near the castle where his mother, former Queen Beatrix, plans to retire. The funeral was officiated by the same cleric who performed his wedding ceremony.

He was the younger brother of the new king of the Netherlands, Willem-Alexander.

After the accident Prince Friso was transferred to the Wellington hospital in London, where he lived. In July he was moved back to the Netherlands. According to a government communique, "Prince Friso has died of complications related to the hypoxic brain injury, which he suffered as the result of his skiing accident in Lech, Austria on 17 February 2012"

The media immediately began speculating whether this was a case of euthanasia. The consensus is that it was not. Most importantly, Prince Friso had not left a living will, so his family and doctors could not presume his consent. As well, Dutch euthanasias are often carefully-planned affairs, with the family gathered around the bed. But Friso's death seems to have caught the Royal Family unawares, as the King was with his family on holidays in Greece.

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