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Published: Sun, December 18, 2016
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Viral Santa story in question

Viral Santa story in question

The British Medical Journal is a bastion for serious science research but for Christmas, researchers sought to test the myth that Santa Claus rewards children based on how nice or naughty they have been in the previous year.

The Knoxville News Sentinel then ran a piece from the editor that said the story does not meet the newspaper's standards for accuracy.

The Knoxville News Sentinel says they were unable to verify the account after it was published because the Tennessee Santa, Eric Schmitt-Matzen, refused to provide the identities of the child's family or the nurse who purportedly called him to the hospital.

He added that a terminally ill child in the area would have likely been brought to their hospital, but said they not only had no records of the heart-stopping Santa visit, they also have not had a 5-year-old boy die there this year.

However, Schmitt-Matzen is sticking by his story, because he said he wants to protect the family and the nurse who called him and is not willing to give the city, hospital or names of the family member he met weeks ago.

In its statement on Wednesday, the News Sentinel said it was "no longer standing by the veracity of Schmitt-Matzen's account".

A local Santa Claus actor, Eric Schmitt-Matzen, turned into a national hero after telling the newspaper his story Sunday about fulfilling a dying boy's wish to meet Saint Nick. The site also says it's "unclear" whether the situation constitutes a privacy violation under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. He confirmed. She called every hospital in East Tennessee, asking them the same question, but they all said they all said no, but Schmitt-Matzen said there is a reason why. "I really don't think that she should be fired".

Or maybe Schmitt-Matzen simply wanted to make people feel good during troubled times.

Schmitt-Matzen told the boy, according to the paper.

WBIR 10News said on Thursday that they have independently verified several critical details of this story. But the way my life's been upset in the last three days, four days, don't do it. "Your family will be tore apart more than it is now". "You have enough problems". "But, from a selfish point of view, they'd be coming to my rescue". There's no way you can miss Christmas! But who needs rescue here? They might not understand yet that even though Santa is not one person, we all become him on one night when we are kind to each other.

During the visit, Schmitt-Matzen said, the boy died in his arms. The whole concept of dying just doesn't sink in, you know.

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