Tseliso Thipanyane and Fikile Makane 2019-03-15 (City Press)
Below, an extract from this excellent opinion piece.
Thipanyane is chief executive officer (CEO) of the SA Human Rights Commission, and Makane is an intern in the CEO’s office
Human dignity is the essence of what defines us as individuals and as members of our respective societies and communities.
The negative attitude towards suicide, assisted suicide and euthanasia, while understandable from a religious and cultural point of view, is difficult to understand and accept from a human rights perspective, with the right to dignity in mind, in particular.
The rights to dignity and “security in and control over their body”, both entrenched in the Bill of Rights, clearly provide a basis for the acceptance of euthanasia, and, at the very least, physician-administered euthanasia.
These provisions provide a basis for a more enlightened and progressive approach to these issues.
THE RIGHT OF EVERY PERSON TO INHERENT DIGNITY AND TO HAVE THIS RIGHT RESPECTED AND PROTECTED FORMS ONE OF THE FOUNDING VALUES ON WHICH THE POST-APARTHEID AND DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY OF SOUTH AFRICA IS FOUNDED.
There are a number of reasons that inform this view:
The National Health Amendment Bill has been completed and was introduced to Parliament on 27 February 2019.
Our indebtedness to Deidre Carter MP, Chief Whip of the Congress of the People (COPE), and everyone else involved in getting this Bill this far cannot be stressed enough.
DignitySA is continuing its fight for terminally ill South Africans to die with dignity. DignitySA has applied to join as a plaintiff in an action instituted by Dieter Harck in the High Court.
Our application has been objected to by HPCSA (Health Professions Council of South Africa). Their objection will be heard in open court, the date of which is yet to be determined.
In a medical emergency, or any other circumstance which leaves you unable to communicate, your Advance Directive (Living Will) will help those responsible for your care to decide on your treatment.
Advance Directives are a way for you to give consent for certain situations where you might want or not want treatment. They allow you to appoint someone to make decisions for you if you can't do so yourself.
Allied Medical Professionals for Assisted Dying (AMPAD) is a group of healthcare professionals who do not believe that dying patients should have to suffer against their wishes or travel abroad to die.
Having medical professionals publicly support assisted dying, with stringent safeguards in place to protect the vulnerable, is enormously helpful to our cause.Your bold support can make a difference.
"Brittany walked to the edge of life and dove, face first, arms arched forward, fingers pressed together, piercing the surface of the whatever-comes-next with precision.
Brittany taught us the power of personal story. She taught us that speaking up, even when our voices shake, is important. The stories of the terminally-ill are important."
Personal stories go a long way towards creating awareness and dispelling myths whilst, at the same time, strengthening the case for a law change.
We appreciate how deeply personal these stories are and assure you that yours will not be published without your final approval.
To share your story, click the link below.