Court to hear assisted dying application

hospital room

Terminal prostate cancer sufferer, 65-year old Robin Stransham-Ford will on Wednesday bring an urgent application to the High Court in Pretoria, to be able to legally end his own life. According to DignitySA, Stransham-Ford is in constant pain and is unable to take care of himself.

With the support of DignitySA, he has filed a motion with the court asking that he be allowed to choose the time and place of his death with assistance from a licensed medical practitioner. This is currently against the law in South Africa.

“We really believe South Africa should change its laws. We should have death with dignity. If you speak to people that have been suffering they’ll understand this,” said the organisation’s Patsy Schonegevel.

Opposing the application, Doctors for Life said using the lethal injection to euthanize terminally ill patients was often an undignified way to die as the injection is known to cause violent convulsions.

Assisted dying is legal in the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Switzerland. In the United States there are assisted dying laws restricted to terminally ill and mentally competent adults in Oregon, Montana, Washington, and Vermont.

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