Animals are treated better than humans, court hears

2015-04-29 13:38
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)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pretoria – Animals are treated better than humans, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria heard on Wednesday in an urgent application by a terminally ill man who wants to be helped to die.

“We pride ourselves that we have this advanced Bill of Rights... but we want to remain in the dark ages,” HB Marais, for Robin Stransham-Ford, 65, told Judge Hans Fabricius.

Stransham-Ford, a former advocate, has terminal prostate cancer and has been on morphine for the past two months. He wants the court to allow him to choose the time and place of his death and needs a doctor’s help to do it.

Fabricius, who frequently interjected, agreed.

“Even a high-class racehorse worth millions of dollars is shot if it breaks a leg,” he said.

Fabricius earlier admitted Doctors for Life and Cause for Justice as friends of the court. They are opposing the application.

He also ruled that the matter was urgent.

No legislation

Arguments dealt with ethics and philosophy, but Fabricius was clearly in a hurry to get on with it.

“We can talk the whole week. The question is merely the following: In the absence of legislation, what rights does the applicant have?”

“There’s no difference in law you say...between handing over a pill, switching off a [life support] machine, or injecting you with a dose of morphine?” Fabricius asked Marais.

Marais replied yes.

Proceedings were adjourned briefly.

Dignity SA is supporting Stransham-Ford’s application.

Read more on:    pretoria  |  euthanasia  |  human rights

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.