Davison to campaign for euthanasia

2012-05-03 10:31

Cape Town - It was an emotional moment when Professor Sean Davison, recently released from house arrest New Zealand, finally arrived back home in South Africa on Wednesday.

His son, Flynn, 3, was clearly excited as he waited for his father to come out the terminal at Cape Town International Airport, yelling “Papa, Papa!”, the Times reported.

Davison’s partner, Raine Pan, held their other son Finnian, who turns 2 on Thursday.

Davison was convicted in New Zealand of helping his terminally ill mother commit suicide. He served five months under house arrest.

Flynn last saw his father before he left for New Zealand in October last year to stand trial.

He ran into his father’s arms and tears flowed amid smiles and happiness as the family was finally reunited.

"I'm thrilled to be back. Today, being home with my family is my first day of freedom. Really, now I am a free man," a delighted Davison said.

He added that he was not ashamed of helping his mother to die. He said he felt that he had served his sentence although he hadn’t committed a crime.

He said now he was back in South Africa, he would begin campaign for changes to the law to allow assisted dying.  

  • catgirl1971 - 2012-05-03 10:49

    Terminally ill people should be allowed to die with dignity.

      Marion - 2012-05-03 10:53

      Agree with you 100% catgirl1971.

      richard.hipkin - 2012-05-03 10:55

      100%!! Fully support this initiative..

      Bomb - 2012-05-03 10:56

      Agree, everyone has the right to freedom of choice.

      Schmee - 2012-05-03 11:04

      I would want my sons to do the same for me but I would not want to risk them landing up in jail. I hope the Prof is successful in his campaign.

      Frankie - 2012-05-03 11:12

      i am with you catgirl, but perhaps in a more controlled environment such as euthanasia clinics to avoid unnecessary trauma to the loved ones. then the decision is kind of taken out of their hands in a way.

      Kala - 2012-05-03 12:28

      We're happy to put an animal down to end its suffering and its accepted as being humane. So why on earth would we as humans want to extend some ones life so that they can continue to suffer terribly.

      Janice - 2012-05-03 12:33

      I support him completely!!!

      Gieljam - 2012-05-03 13:02

      For sure its much more humane than being murdered by thugs when you are on your farm or even in your house or anywhere for that matter...

  • Hannes - 2012-05-03 11:01

    thing is.......... there is a heck of a lot of money to be made if you are kept alive for as long as possible! would love to know what sectors are lobbying against assisted dying?! the wHEALTH-Industry perhaps?

      Schmee - 2012-05-03 11:02

      That's a good question.

  • Richard - 2012-05-03 11:05

    Hard topic. We debated this for hours at law school. It opens up a whole field of abuse and potentially murder. I however agree with the concept thereof. My wife recently asked a doctor to help her dying brother in Australia who was suffering from the last stages of cancer and was advised that he only had days left. The doctor refused and her brother then died three hours later. Everybody knew he was going, he was beyond hope and was simply suffering out the last few hours unable to even breathe properly. Question is just always who gets to decide when the patient cannot make the decision and it potentially opens up a whole field of abuse.

      Marion - 2012-05-03 11:19

      @Richard - I agree that it potentially opens up a whole field of abuse but if it is only condoned if, say, a living will, x number of medical opinions and, if necessary, the courts, support it then it becomes less of a minefield. (Although, that said, wasn't it three or four doctors who said that Schaik was at death's door?) I do believe though that some diseases cannot be faked and in those instances 'mercy killing / assisted suicide' should be permitted.

      Bomb - 2012-05-03 11:29

      I think the means to make a choice should be given to the patients themselves, when they are still able to do so. But it should be an option for sick people. Put yourself in that position, if you can even imagine it, and think what you would rather do. Go peacefully and with dignity, or shrink away slowly, not able to eat, use the toilet, clean yourself, breathe, wipe your mouth and embedding the last image of a skeletal figure into the minds of your family. Its not nice to experience the gradual decline of a loved one when nothing can be done, and you can see the desperation in their eyes, the shame of their appearance and expressions of pain.

      Mike - 2012-05-03 13:47

      I was told by a medical practitioner recently that a 'living will' has no standing in law. Richard would you comment on this please.

  • Phae - 2012-05-03 11:09

    Can't be soon enough, too many in unimaginable pain being forced to continue by archaic laws. Where is our compassion for them?

  • Skia - 2012-05-03 11:24

    Duration: 1 hour In a frank and personal documentary, author Sir Terry Pratchett considers how he might choose to end his life. Diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2008, Terry wants to know whether he might be able to end his life before his disease takes over. Travelling to the Dignitas Clinic in Switzerland, Terry witnesses first hand the procedures set out for assisted death, and confronts the point at which he would have to take the lethal drug.

  • Piet - 2012-05-03 11:25

    He's got my vote....

  • meredith.r.pollock - 2012-05-03 11:50

    I had to watch my mother die from endometrial cancer a short while ago, the pain I cannot imagine, but could see it in her eyes and face, especially the last month of her life, had she been given the choice I think she would have chosen death by euthanasia but whether I would have been able to do it is a whole different kettle of fish, don't think I could have personally done it. If it is done by doctors in a way that is respectful to the patients, allowing them to die with their dignity in tact then yes I am for it...

      meredith.r.pollock - 2012-05-04 11:57

      Thank you Janine, yes it's not nice to see someone you love in that kind of pain, but at least I know she is in a far better place now with no more pain or suffering :-)

  • Nicholas - 2012-05-03 11:57

    The sentence Sean Davison received is laughable. The only reason it was meted out was to make the authorities feel better about themselves that they had "done something" In truth they had no idea how to handle it and the sentence was but an irritation in Sean's life. It has not "taught him a lesson" and clearly it has not changed his mind about something that he knows was right. It is high time authorities world wide grew up about this issue and faced the facts. People have every right to die with dignity should they so choose. Having these outdated laws in place is not going to stop people doing what they have every right to do.

  • angela.ostling.watson - 2012-05-03 12:20

    I think more people would agree with him than disagree. If the majority does agree,why doesn't the government change the laws? I've always said that it is surely an individual's right to die with dignity where possible and avoid unnecessary pain and humiliation. I support this cause.

  • Maki - 2012-05-03 12:35

    As much as abortion is legal euthanasia should also be legalized, i myself will put this in my will.

  • carvern - 2012-05-03 13:04

    Welcome back UWC missed you

  • Andy - 2012-05-03 13:25

    It does seem like an answer to a terminally ill person's suffering. Could save an enormous amount of medical resource and expense But who will get the legal right to terminate somebody else's life? There may be some who would find this a useful right to have.

  • seaterp - 2012-05-03 13:27

    You have my full support. Let us die with dignity.

  • VWhitepaw - 2012-05-03 13:33

    At 60/65 the world tell you, you are of no use anymore. You can't find a job and the place where you worked forces you to retire due to your age. Then it tells you, sit at home and 'wait' to die. You have to live off the money you saved through your life, if you where lucky or live for (current) R1000 p/m. If I'm seen as useless, why not allow me to request the doctor for an injection. Yes, I support euthanasia if your sickly and can't help yourself but I also support it for the old who feels that they have come to the end of their road. Chances are, I would have no family left by the time I am forced to retire. Why would I want to sit in a small room and wait for my end. Make it a choice. Put safe guards in place to prevent the miss use.

  • gailcarolynhayes - 2012-05-03 20:57

    If doctors are allowed to create humans in test tubes then people with terminal illness should be afforded the right to say when the quality of their life and their suffering is more than they can bear and be legally assisted with their families around them. Imagine having had 129 invasive procedures starting when you were 7 months old for an illness which had no cure and robbed those who loved you and whom you hated to see suffer with you and after finally reaching a sane agreement with yiur nearest and dearest to allow you to choose this being told to go ahead and have another invasive procedure. At 29 years old what choice do you have? A lonely secretive suicide. Is that cowardice? No it is the only choice left to a sane individual whose parents would be charged with murder if they were present. I am right behind this campaign. Doctors don't like it because they lose a source of income whereas creating life creates big money for years to come. If abortion is legalised why not euthanasia?

  • Maetsane - 2012-05-03 21:34

    This is the most horrific thing I have ever read. Where is this leading to?You kill your own mother and are proud of it!First it was killing babies in the womb, as this no longer shocks most people, now we have graduated a step further, let us kill the terminally ill, its for their own good they are suffering! Who is next? the unemployed, handicapped, any one over the age of 50?What has happened to this world?

      meredith.r.pollock - 2012-05-04 12:06

      Who are you to judge Maetsane, his mother was in pure agony, you have no idea of seeing that kind of pain in loved ones who are dying from cancer so rather keep quiet.. I have been there and it is no walk in the park, the pain these cancer patients go through towards the end is more pain then any sane person can bare... You have no clue, until you have actually sat there by a loved one's bedside day in and day out seeing them in that kind of pain and not being able to take that pain away or being able to ease it I suggest you keep your opinion to yourself, you are clueless.. I have been there, it's not a good place to be..

      nsinovich - 2012-05-04 18:23

      Got to agree with Maetsane. Hitler's Germany took this route when they abandoned their Christian faith and embraced the apparent compassion of humanism. Suicide is plain murder of one-self and God sees it as such. Euthanasia is a nice sounding term of compassion but this judgement is very subjective and open to huge flaws. Rather cry out to God for relief than suffer God's judgement than the temporal suffering in this life which I realise can be very upsetting. Rather hang in there with hope. I do not see a problem turning off life support machines though, when patient vegetative. Definitely should not be a legal option.

  • Joanne - 2012-05-05 20:26

    This has been going on for years. It should be law.

  • Joanne - 2012-05-05 20:37

    Religious beliefs can be respected but leave the rest of us alone.

  • chris.vantonder.79 - 2012-07-13 07:08

    You are a brave man indeed. Please don't let me suffer if I'm terminally ill!

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