International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

Assisted Suicide in South Africa

The Supreme Court in South Africa ruled that it will be illegal to assist patients in death. The argument in the appeal by the government was that there is no legal framework to decide matters of life and death. Last year there was a similar court carchbishopase where the ruling was that a man’s doctor would be allowed to assist him in killing himself, but he died before the decision was ruled. This new ruling overturns the decision and now Archbishop Desmond Tutu will not be able to fulfill his wishes. Tutu made an announcement in October that he wished to die on his own terms after struggling with prostate cancer for the past twenty years. According to the spokesmen of the Department of Justice and Correctional Services the government is relieved by this ruling because doctors are meant to save live, not take them.

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2 responses to “Assisted Suicide in South Africa

  1. kmira471 December 7, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    This is an interesting article because this controversy over the allowance of physician assisted suicide has been debated here in the U.S. heavily as well. In my personal opinion, I think that physician assisted suicide should be allowed in situations that are lawful in terms of the patient’s desire to die at a certain time. People who are suffering from lifetimes of pain and agony, or living their lives attached to machinery which is mechanically keeping them alive are not living the way that they want to be. In most cases, these individuals would rather be at peace through death instead of putting up with their daily, persistent misery. I do not think that the government should restrict people from ending their lives of suffering if they want to. It seems as almost a form of torture; to force individuals that yearn to die to stay alive in their sad conditions. This is affects family members of the patients as well in that it is painful to watch as a loved one suffers, especially for extended periods of time that are unnecessary. Archbishop Tutu should be allowed to die if he wants to because he has been struggling with a vicious disease for 20 years.

  2. gfoster97 December 8, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    I also agree that this is a very interesting article and topic. Physician assisted suicide is something that has been debated for a long time. As what my viewpoint on this issue is that I support this but my support changes depending on each case. For example, I am in support for this case. But in the case of someone just wanting to end their life if they have a strong chance to live, I am against it. Something else that is interesting in this case is that the governments involvement in a persons right to choice, allows me to also want to compare this to the case of a women’s right in abortion. The governments involvement in a person personal rights is another thing that could be questioned. With someone like Archbishop Tutu who has been battling this cancer for 20 years should be allowed to choose if he would like to continue to battle or if he has made his peace with it. But with this questioning of assisted suicide, you could also question a DNR. This could be looked at in the same way. This is a very interesting topic to discuss and could discuss a long as a the abortion issue.

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