MyNews24 is a user-generated section of The stories here come from users.

Comments: 19
Article views: 503
Latest Badges:

View all Percy_Makholwa's badges.

Euthenasia- its not so simple when I think about my son

20 July 2014, 11:46

I think that the death of my first born child  is an important precursor to my introductory statements on Euthanasia and the license for Doctors decisions on  whether or not to “keep people alive for as long as possible through extra-ordinary means” .  The Doctor decided that my 10 week baby had had enough and that he should not be resuscitated after an operation whose kept me hoping but proved too much for his frail body. I love you Vusizwe and long live your spirit my son.  

Now on the issue of euthanasia- Initially, there is the question of religion and then that of law, particularly the right to life.

In religion for instance, there seems to be no mention of the issue of assisted dying. The scriptures will cite those that would have been told to fix their affairs prior to dying and the lesson is that when death is presented, the victim should reach out to God for help and healing (see the story of Ezekiel, who requested more time on earth after citing how he had lived in honor of and in the service of God).  

 The second teaching of Paul the Apostle on his teaching that there will be ultimate victory over death by citing his experience having fought wild animals or dangerous people in Ephesus, the lesson is that the fight to attain unto immortality is important and adds significance to earthly life; the reward is eternal life in the world beyond.  

Then there is Job whose wife encouraged him to curse God and die and he refused to give up and day but hoped in redemption and in the hope that there would be a better day. Job is said to have survived his encounter with death and the dehumanization of disease and attendant suffering.

 The last story I can recall is the resurrection of Lazarus by God.  The lesson in the above is that God can be relied on to listen compassionately and answer prayers for resurrection, and extension of human-earth life.  The cited stories say that there is little or no texts that would support euthanasia.

 The bible is presumably against euthanasia in my layman’s understanding, but the debate is a little bit more complicated than my understand or my ability to recount scriptures that would oppose euthanasia, there is also the question of the quality of life.

I am not sure if my boy would have had a normal life or not- I am  not sure that I would have loved to see him suffer and not be able to lead an independent and fulfilling life- I respect those parents who raise kids that suffer many difficult medical conditions  but I would not prefer  and would be powerless to observe my prince and hero suffer.

As I see it the right to life in South African law, is even protected against the person owning that right, the collaborators in the assisted suicide are culpable for the crime of murder.  Even though the argument of the right to human dignity can be juxtaposed to the right to life to invoke the right and sovereignty of the individual or sober minded adults in the relatives to decide on euthanasia considering that the dignity of an individual is corroded at the site of unbearable pain or loss of independence. 

The above does not mean that such a constitutional proviso is necessarily exploited in South Africa. Beyond the constitution and bible the right to life or to euthanasia is also variably defined in the liberal and Marxist tradition, when a continuum is drawn the right to life in Marxist life tradition, and the Liberal right traditions are unique from the Christian tradition and for those purposes we would place the Christians in the middle and the Marxist to the left while the right is liberal views. 

In the Marxist tradition, the focus on alienation and the importance of communitarian usefulness of an action is strong,  I could therefore deduce that there will be an initial reluctance on adopting euthanasia as it would be an alienation from life and the right to access life sustaining material.  In addition, the communitarian aspect is one that would insist that there should be community acquiescence with regards the assisted suicide, but alienation and the family choosing to have one be  the subject of mercy killing is probably contrary to the individual sovereignty and the right not to be exploited.

The last point is actually saying that the individual has been exploited for so long by capitalism that the option to be taken off life support and be assisted in suicide would render he individual alienated.  

In   the liberal tradition,  the focus is on the individual and the right of that individual to make choices related to life as a sovereign choice. The individual should  be over the age of parental care and in the case of a minor the parents have that sovereign choice.  The choice of life or death would however be regulated in accordance to the a social contract or constitution, the constitution would avert arbitrary use of power against the individual. 

 The Bishop Tutu mentioned the frailty of the late erstwhile first democratic president Nelson Mandela, and how he did not die a dignified death for having been kept alive at time when he was not being himself.   This is significant because a cleric has supported euthanasia, which necessitates the need to debate this topic holistically. 

Whatever the outcomes and direction of the debate,  I only have one image in my head, that is holding the lifeless, cold and increasingly stiffening body of my son after the doctor decided its enough.  I am having to accept that he has died owing to complications after fighting four lapses to death and an operation in the head. I hold him against my body and his cadaver remains deafeningly silent even when I scream and cry out his name.   The young man has been incredibly brave having fought so much to live and I ask myself- are the lessons of the bible inadequate when a parent feels that the learned doctor should have given him another chance?  I will never know. But I guess as in the Bishop Tutu’s argument over Tata Mandela, some cases are easier than others.

In honor of my first born son- Vusizwe Tumelo Lekhumo- I will always remember you and you will always be my son. I love you so!

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Terrylin Backpackers
The cheque is in the post

"I hear you are in bond collections. What are the latest excuses people are coming up with these days? I've run out of ideas." Read more...

10 comments 3500 views
Submitted by
News in the digital age

How do you think that spreading your hate/bigotry and or intolerance helps anybody? Read more...

14 comments 1207 views
Submitted by
Brian Faul
How and why a Dictator is born

One needs to remember looking back in history these hard times is when a dictator is more likely to get born. It is during these hard times that a dictator gets voted into power. Read more...

10 comments 1999 views
Submitted by
Prenisha Naidoo
I will be proactive...

This letter is in response to articles on the death of baby Jamie Naidoo, We have the tendency to be reactive…we wait for something to happen, then suddenly we care, writes a News24 User. Read more...

2 comments 491 views
Submitted by

Make a list of at least ten things that you can celebrate, and write two or three reasons why you can celebrate those things or events. Read more...

1 comments 178 views
Submitted by
Eric de Castro
Last squeak of the year


13 comments 295 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go! - shop online today

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off the bestselling books

Save big on the most captivating reads of 2014. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25



E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

Interactive Advertising Bureau
© 2014 All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.