How assisted suicide affects family

2015-05-13 06:00

MOST opinions expressed in the euthanasia debate are in favour of legalising it in South Africa, but we must be cautious for several reasons:

• We have not been able to police abortion laws; euthanasia legislation will be much more difficult, as the Netherlands has discovered.

Professor Theo Boer, the ethicist who was in the vanguard supporting the legislation in that country, wrote in the UK Daily Mail: “Assisted dying: don’t go there.” He says their seven regulating committees have failed to satisfactorily control the practice. Many people are being illegally killed. The aged and infirm’s security and safety has been seriously affected.

• In Switzerland, studies show that the incidence of severe psychological illness among relatives of people given assisted suicide 14 to 24 months after the event is the same as that encountered among servicemen returning from the Vietnam war. Families are seriously affected.

• That might be worse in South Africa. What is acceptable to Westerners with a world view which supports the concept of autonomous individuality, is unacceptable to perhaps 80% of our people who have a strong sense of the individual’s value in community.

In this debate, the value of dignity must be balanced against providing security for vulnerable people. Security should be held as the greater need, especially in developing countries. Therefore the South African Medical Association has come out strongly against assisted suicide-euthanasia.



Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
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.