South Africa Overturns Right-To-Die Ruling For The Terminally ill

The Supreme Court of South Africa has overturned the High Court ruling that granted the right to die to a terminally ill cancer patient.

In a previous ruling, the Pretoria High Court had last year ruled in favor of a patient, to have the right to die with dignity, with the help of a doctor. The patient, 65 year old Robin Stransham Ford, however, succumbed to cancer before the court made its ruling.

The High Courts’ decision which was appealed by the State, involved the Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services, Ministry of Health and the Health Professionals Council of South Africa as well as the Director of Public Prosecutions.


“Our argument has always been that the right to life is enshrined in our constitution and equally, doctors took an oath to save and preserve life, not to end it,” explained Mthunzi Mhaga, spokesman for the Department of Justice and Correctional Services.

The government however maintains that such a law would be exploited as it lacked a legal framework that would help regulate decisions in matters of life and death.

The right to die is a moral principle based on the belief that a human being is entitled to end their own life or to undergo voluntary euthanasia.



Written by PH

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