DignitySA is proud to host the World Federation of Right to Die Societies' biennial conference and invite you to join us for two days of fascinating talks and a not-to-be-missed debate on the #righttodie.Read More
Don’t squander time… you’re only a breath away from being a corpse yourself. It’s only when time is running out that you really get its value. Don’t wait to tell those you love that you love them. Stop assuming ‘oh well, they know’…tell them and do so often.Read More
The right of terminally ill individuals to end their life when, and how, they choose has been a battle fought before South Africa’s courts in recent years. An application launched at the South Gauteng High Court has now brought the issue into the spotlight once more.
The court found that the right to dignity warranted developing the law and ultimately ordered that physician-assisted death be permitted if it would allow for a dignified death. For a brief window, assisted death was no longer unlawful.Read More
In life, one of South Africa’s most prolific and celebrated historians, novelists and translators, Karel Schoeman, was notoriously hermitic, shunning most contact with the outside world. Schoeman’s self delivery – or suicide – on Monday at the age of 77 has once again opened the debate about the legal right to die with dignity in South Africa. He wanted it that way.Read More
"I want to hope that my death will contribute to a wider discussion than is currently the case on the major problem of old age, as well as the general issue of self-determination, and above all that it might assist to bring about amendments to the current South African legislation pertaining to self-determination.
In this way, it is enough."Read More
I know many people reading this find what I did flies against everything they stand for, however, the vast majority who do object, I have found, have never personally helped someone die at that level of intimacy, so their objections are either religious, ethical or academic, and hold very little weight in my book. I doubt many have the stomach for what really happens when someone is dying.Read More
We begin with the story of Carol Tuck, a resident of South Africa's eastern coast. She was diagnosed with colon cancer at 37. Now in stage four, she has reached the end of her treatment options. And she's hoping to leave this world on her own terms, with doctor-assisted dying.Read More
TUTU: “Today, I myself am even closer to the departures hall than arrivals, so to speak, and my thoughts turn to how I would like to be treated when the time comes. Now more than ever, I feel compelled to lend my voice to this cause.” He believed in the sanctity of life but also that terminally ill people should not be forced to endure terrible pain and suffering, he wrote. Instead they should have control over the manner and timing of their death.Read More
“The fight for a dignified, assisted death is not about death, but about life,” Carol Tuck, 46, said this week.
“Let me be very clear. I don’t want to die. I want to be around for as long as I can, but I also want to be me. If cancer takes who I am . . . if I get a big brain tumour I want to have an option to say it is time for me to die, while I am still me.”Read More
Consequently, as I cleared my conscience in a sort of one-sided, three-day confession (had he been able to talk, I’m sure he would have begged me to stop) he writhed in discomfort, contorting to such an extent that he almost sat upright at times and ended up in nigh-impossible backbends. It all left me wondering why the doctors were unable or unwilling to administer a merciful coup de grace. I was at times tempted to put him out of his agony with a pillow, like Chief Bromden did in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, but I ended up just chanting mantras. I didn’t know what else to do.Read More
Initially, when I thought about my column this week, I plotted a path of struggling with the topic of euthanasia or assisted suicide. However, I opted to shift that approach as both of my grandmothers are in private hospitals having been able to ‘contract out’ of the public healthcare system. The notion of ‘contracting out’ highlighted the disparity that so many people face on a day-to-day basis and sadly, even in death.Read More
“For me it is not a case of wanting to die, but I want to be given that choice of how I want to die when the time comes. “It is not my wish to die, but whether I like it or not the fact is I am already dying. I have no choice in the matter. I have terminal cancer that cannot be cured." ~ Carol TuckRead More
Professor Willem Landman from Dignity SA told a packed lecture room at the University of Witwatersrand's medical school that Mandela would not have been happy with his being kept artificially alive.
"I dare say that if he knew, he would call it an assault on his dignity."Read More
The judgment is ground-breaking because it once again affirms that in a constitutional democracy in which the value of dignity is fundamental, the human dignity and autonomy of some may not be sacrificed in order to enforce the narrow moral or religious beliefs of a certain section of society on the population as a whole.Read More
"Palliative care is enormously important, but it is mischievous to see what we stand for as an alternative. The two should coexist.
Prof. Landman: "It is alarmist scare-mongering to suggest doctors and nurses will turn into killers and family members will try to hasten death to inherit. This is not a principled argument. I am really worried that the constitutional argument is not featuring in the response from government."
Minister of Health, Aaron Motsoaledi: “Doctors are human and make mistakes too. They can say a person has a few weeks left to live, based on medical observation, but only God can decide when a person dies. As much as doctors played an important role in bringing life to this world, they should not be given the right to end it because they did not create it in the first place.Read More
Do I think Davison should be convicted of murder? No.
Those are the easier questions to answer. If you want to get to the real nub of the debate you have to ask yourself the hardest question of all. Ask yourself whether you’d end the life of someone you love who was terminal, suffering and wanted to die.Would you kill your own father, mother or child?Read More
“I lay down on the couch in the TV room with Luke. Everything was so quiet. Suddenly we heard the bang. I left as soon as possible, because I knew the place would soon be swarming with police. Luke was beside himself and wanted to know what the bang was. I said it must have been the oxygen bottle that exploded." ~ Carin Oriani-AmbrosiniRead More
In his last moments, Dr Ambrosini sent a message to a few of his closest friends, describing his physical condition and saying farewell. He wrote -
"I am dying in peace and serenity surrounded by the love of my family and friends. I am dying at a time when I feel ready. I feel in the grace of God and part of His passion and in that sense relieved and saved. My last thoughts are with my child and I hope you may give him some of the love and guidance I would like him to receive. Thank you for your friendship and love which I feel with me at this time." ~ Mario Oriani-AmbrosiniRead More