Alongside access to good quality end-of-life care, we support a change in the law to allow terminally ill, mentally competent adults the choice of an assisted death within upfront safeguards.
Such a law would, we believe, not only respect patient choice but better protect vulnerable patients, allowing them to make informed decisions in consultation with healthcare professionals.
Neurophsychologist Avron Moss ☆ 1965 – † 2015
Some terminally ill, mentally competent, patients in inexorable pain and unendurable suffering consciously choose to die in dignity.
That health care professionals cannot assist them, and that these patients are forced to buy questionable medication to end their lives from unscrupulous websites, or suffer the terror of having to shoot or hang themselves, ought to be abhorrent to any caring professional. Yet it is within the expertise of the medical profession to offer such patients assistance with the death they are asking for: a safe, pain-free, peaceful and dignified ending.
The relevant law in South Africa actively perpetuates suffering, in conflict with our Constitution and with Human Rights, and is indefensibly unjust. All caring health care professionals ought to be actively involved in campaigning to change the law.
Dr Bruce Copley
Throughout my life I have passionately pursued that elusive thing called holistic wellbeingness. Conscious dying is a very important part of this and so the work of your organisation is something close to my heart.
By championing assisted dying your courageous organisation is shedding a much needed light on the prevailing deep darkness of fear, unawareness and what is arguably one of the cruellest and most illogical human rights violation practices.
I know for a fact that my last adventure on this planet is going to be my dying and I want this to be very conscious and dignified irrespective of the place, time and situation in which it occurs.
Clinical Psychologist Dianne McCormick
I believe the terminally ill should be allowed to decide how much suffering they can endure and should be free to end their lives if the anxiety and pain becomes unbearable.
Clinical Psychologist Ethelwyn Rebelo
I believe that when a person’s quality of life is so compromised by illness that it is their choice to end it, they should be allowed to be able to do so with dignity.
Dr Ronald Ingle
Opponents of changes in law to allow assisted dying often ask doctors to recall their Hippocratic Oath. There must be few doctors who recall the taking, let alone the wording of, that ancient oath. Today, the WHO’s Declaration of Geneva (1948) has been revised several times, and use of such ‘oaths’ is neither universal nor generalized within countries.
We live longer than our forebears. Medicine begins to recognise that caring for the elderly differs from that of the young; tries to deal with kinds of chronic ill-health, a task quite different from the 19th century life-and-death challenges of infections; and, in the context of polypharmacy and technology, now learns to consider the quality of life as a shared responsibility.
The South African Law Commission Report (Project 86, 1998) argued that it was inappropriate for the legislature to seek to balance religious views in a pluralist society. It is replete with safety provisos of several kinds, deriving from the pioneering legislative experiences of other countries. It is about the right to choose.
Those who believe it is morally wrong to end their life in any way would remain free to accept whatever their last days would be like. Those who do not so believe should be free in terms of their respective beliefs to choose to end a life which is already, or is foreseeably, devoid of human quality. My plea is for this liberty to be advanced.
Clinical Psychologist Nick Davies
People have a right to avoid suffering. No one has the right to decide for another what pain they have to bear.
Dr Sue Walter
I work with terminal patients every day.
A dignified end is first prize.
Registered Nurse Tony Stakes
I believe that the choice of suicide is the ultimate right and ultimate freedom of the individual regardless of disease.
I am currently working on a book concerning precisely this topic. It will be for doctors, High-court Judges and ministers who have difficulty in making these decisions of an assisted suicide.
All evidence points to the fact that physical death is a transition we all have to make. This book confronts Christian fundamentalism head-on and forces the reader to engage in searching questions.
Emergency Care Practitioner Robyn M.
I am both an advanced life support paramedic and medical student. I believe that as humans we have both the right to life and to death as we see fit.
Psychoanalyst Barnaby B. Barratt
I strongly believe that those who are terminally ill and feel they can no longer endure further pain and suffering should have the choice to end their life in a dignified manner.
PhD, DHS, ABPP, Fellow of the American Psychological Association
Professor Sean Davison
The right to a dignified death is at the core of our humanity.