NPA to appeal 'right to die' ruling

2015-04-30 12:35
Dignity SA member Patsy Schonegevel stands outside the North Gauteng High Court holding a picture of her son Craig. (Thomas Hartleb, News24)

Dignity SA member Patsy Schonegevel stands outside the North Gauteng High Court holding a picture of her son Craig. (Thomas Hartleb, News24)

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Pretoria - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) would appeal a precedent-setting court ruling giving a terminally ill Cape Town man the right to end his own life with the help of a doctor.

"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," Department of Justice spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said on Thursday.

"This is precedent setting," said Mhaga after Judge Hans Fabricius made the order in the Pretoria High Court that Robin Stransham-Ford, who has terminal prostate cancer, be allowed to die with the help of a doctor.

The doctor may not be prosecuted or face disciplinary action.

Mhaga said the order affected the powers of the NPA because they would not be able to prosecute the doctor and euthanasia was not legal in South Africa.

''Unfortunately the order has not been suspended so anything can happen from now until Monday,'' added Mhaga.

Read more on:    npa  |  pretoria  |  health  |  human rights

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