To be or not to be euthanised

The recent case in South Africa in which Advocate Robin Stransham-Ford made a High Court Application to be afforded his constitutional right to human dignity respected and freedom to bodily and psychological integrity guaranteed has brought this issue to the forefront in South Africa. Rather than retrace the sanctity of human life versus the free will/ right to human dignity debate, the focus of this blog will highlight the human cost of not allowing euthanasia under certain rigorously controlled conditions.

The detractors of the dignity of life advocates base their opposition to assisted suicide on the principle of the sanctity of life. The medical profession in particular is incensed at this possible amendment to the Hippocratic Oath. Simply put, this tenet entrenches the right to life as being paramount to the exclusion of all other considerations including severe pain and imminent death.

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