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HomeMedico-LegalTerminally ill pair in new SA bid to legalise euthanasia

Terminally ill pair in new SA bid to legalise euthanasia

A medical doctor and one of her patients have filed a combined application in the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) asking the court to legalise euthanasia, reports Beeld.

According to a Beeld report, Dr Sue Walter (43) – a specialist in palliative care – and patient Dieter Harck (68) are both terminally ill with cancer and motor-neuron disease respectively. In court paper, both applicants describe their symptoms as torture and request an order that would authorise Walter to prescribe medicine to Harck that would end his life; an order that assisted suicide should not be deemed unprofessional conduct by medical professionals; and a declaration in terms of section 27(1)(2) or section 7(2) of the Constitution that euthanasia is lawful.

The report says Walter and Harck refer to the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) decision in the case of Advocate Robin Stransham-Ford. In that case, the SCA held that the High Court should not have authorised his assisted suicide as he was dead by the time the order was given. The merits of that case could not be addressed properly due to the urgency of his application. Walter and Harck therefore want their cases to be placed on the normal court roll.

[link url="http://www.netwerk24.com/Nuus/Hof/hofaansoek-genadedood-gaan-oor-selfbeskikking-20170918"]Beeld report[/link]

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