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South Africa court overturns right-to-die ruling for the terminally ill

by Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban, Africa News, 7 December 2016

South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) has overturned a High Court ruling that granted the right-to-die to a terminally ill cancer patient.

The Pretoria High Court last year ruled that the patient had the right to commit suicide with a doctor’s help. The case involved Cape Town advocate 65-year-old Robin Stransham Ford, News24 portal reports.

The High Court’s decision was appealed by the State. The Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, the Minister of Health, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Health Professionals Council of South Africa were all involved in the appeal.

Mthunzi Mhaga, the spokesman for the Department of Justice and Correctional Services, is quoted by the BBC to have said that the government is relieved that this judgement was set aside:

‘‘Our argument has always been that the right to life is enshrined in our constitution – and equally doctors took an oath to save and preserve life, not to end it.”

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