Three more to ask for assisted suicide

By Drum Digital
07 May 2015

Three people who are terminally ill are working on court applications that will allow doctors to assist in legally ending their lives, Netwerk24 reported on Thursday.

Lee Last, an executive member of the organisation Dignity SA, said on Wednesday that three people had asked the group for help in filing court applications to the High Court.

This follows last week’s landmark ruling that former Cape Town advocate Robin Stransham-Ford would be allowed to die with the assistance of a doctor, while the doctor would not be subject to prosecution or disciplinary proceedings.

Stransham-Ford was suffering from stage 4 cancer that had spread from his prostate to other parts of his body.

An urgent application was heard in the High Court in Pretoria last week, where lawyers argued that Stransham-Ford, 65, be granted the right to end his own life.

Stransham-Ford died of natural causes last Thursday, just two hours before the ruling was made, News24 reported.

Judge Hans Fabricius, who oversaw the case, refused an application by the government and the Health Professions Council to rescind his order, saying it concerned a matter of public interest and could affect more people than just Stransham-Ford.

The three terminally ill people all have six months to live, Last added.

The applications are not urgent as a result, and will be heard on the ordinary court rolls.

Netwerk24

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