Support South Africa’s Appeal of Assisted Suicide
A man who had petitioned a South African court to avail of doctor assisted suicide has died of natural causes. Mr Robin Stransham-Ford, 65, who was battling prostate cancer, passed away before the ruling was made in his case. +RIP
Nevertheless, Judge Hans Fabricius issued the following order on Thursday (April 30th): “The applicant is entitled to be assisted by a medical practitioner either by the administration of a lethal agent or by providing the applicant with the necessary lethal agent to administer himself.”
Additionally, Judge Fabricius also said that any doctor willing to assist Mr Stransham-Ford in committing suicide would not be acting unlawfully and would not be subject to disciplinary action by the Health Professions Council of South Africa.
Although the judge did say that his ruling only applied to Mr Stransham-Ford and could not be taken as an endorsement of a draft Bill on the End of Life, the Justice and Health Ministers, the Health Professions Council of SA, and the National Director of Public Prosecutions ALL opposed the application.
Thankfully, the National Prosecutions Authority of SA (NPA) said that they would appeal the ruling. NPA spokesperson, Mthunzi Mhaga, made the following statement: “We are disappointed with the judgment and will take it on appeal ... because it has far-reaching implications from a health point of view, constitutional rights, and for the powers of the NPA.”
Mr Mhaga also made the point that, legally-speaking, the order put the NPA in an unsustainable position because, while euthanasia remains illegal in South Africa, they could not prosecute those who violate the law – at least as long as the ruling is not suspended.
We call on the national director of public prosecutions, Mxolisi Nxasana, to follow through on the appeal of this radical, precedent-setting ruling. Should this ruling stand, Life in South Africa will be more vulnerable than before.
Naturally, palliative care and hospice services should be provided. And, compassion and sympathy are, of course, due to those suffering severe illness. But, by allowing such a ruling to stand, effectively legalizing euthanasia by judicial fiat, South Africa may leave itself open to the extremist ideology of those who would also sanction assisted-suicide for the mentally-ill and children. In any case, allowing one person to take another person's life demeans all life.
By signing this petition, your signature will be sent directly to the NPA to tell its Director that you support their appeal – against assisted suicide.
As you know, legal precedent in one country can be used to push the legal envelope by the High Courts in other countries. Therefore, whether or not you are South African, your signature will demonstrate opposition to the spread of this extreme anti-life ideology.
Please see the following for more information:
Teken nu de petitie!
Please Follow Though on Your Appeal of Assisted Suicide