Sunday, May 17, 2015
South African Decision
I see that today's NZ Herald has published the news about the South African High Court decision about physician assisted death.
Well, friends, you read it here first! Here's my post of 5th May.
Incidentally, I hope you're all signing the VES petition - it's only asking the government to "fully investigate public attitudes". That's hardly a controversial proposal, surely!
The South African High Court has ruled that a cancer sufferer should be permitted to seek an assisted death without the doctor concerned being charged with any crime.
There is a touching little link with New Zealand. The applicant, Robin Stransham-Ford, was a high court advocate in South Africa and he said that when New Zealander Sean Davison was in trouble with the law over his mother's assisted death, lawyers in South Africa said nothing. Stransham-Ford said that when his prostate cancer became terminal, he saw his application to the court as a way of making amends for remaining silent.
Ironically, it is reported that Robin died of natural causes on the very day his application was granted.
The Voluntary Euthanasia Society of NZ has been given leave to be associated with a similar application which will be made to the NZ Court on 25th May by Lecretia Seales. As in the South African case, this application, if it is granted, will apply only to her. But a precedent of a kind will be created.
I am going to send a donation to the fighting fund for this application. And spending most of today on yet another hospital procedure in connection with my prostate cancer I hope very much that it will be successful. It will not change the law, but it will prod a disgracefully disinterested Parliament into at least taking the issue seriously.