Assisted dying appeal to be heard

2015-06-03 15:23


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Assisted dying ruling affects powers of NPA - Justice ministry

2015-04-30 12:17

Speaking after a court ruled a terminally ill man the right to end his own life, with the help of a doctor, the Justice ministry said the ruling would affect the NPA's powers. Watch.WATCH

Pretoria - The High Court in Pretoria has granted leave to appeal a controversial assisted dying ruling, Doctors for Life (DFL) said on Wednesday.

''The case now moves to the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein,'' DFL said.

Spokesperson Vaughan Luck said Judge Hans Fabricius made the decision on Tuesday, but a date for the appeal had not been set yet.

On April 30, Fabricius ruled that terminally ill Robin Stransham-Ford be allowed to end his own life with no consequences to a medical practitioner who chose to assist him.

Stransham-Ford died on the same day, as a result of his cancer.

The Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, the Minister of Health, the National Director of Public Prosecutions and the Health Professions Council of SA (HSPCA) appealed the ruling.

DFL said it remained on board as a friend of the court to present arguments.

The organisation said they opposed assisted dying because it was anything but peaceful or dignified, and that studies overseas had shown there are often serious complications.

''Research has discovered that complications are common in assisted suicide, and physicians often have to finish the patient off with a lethal injection,'' said DFL.

Fabricius had already refused a previous application from the Department of Health, to rescind his order.

He believed the matter should eventually be heard by the Constitutional Court, or discussed in Parliament.

Comment was not immediately available from the other parties in the application.

Read more on:    robin stransham-ford  |  pretoria  |  assisted suicide
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