Yesterday was a momentous day in our country’s history – thank you all for making it the success it was. There are many people who contributed greatly to making this success possible, but at this stage I wish to express our overwhelming gratitude to Robin’s family and caregivers. Penelope, Rosanne and all the family gave Robin the incredible strength he needed to endure the suffering of the journey he chose.

When I visited Robin over Easter (3 weeks before the court case) he made it absolutely clear he was going to die on Wednesday 29th April, the day after the court hearing was originally scheduled. The court case was delayed one day – what a difference a day makes. The delay probably had greater emotional and physical impact on Robin than we can even start to imagine (Penelope can probably attest to this). It was as if he had decided how long he could hang on for, and that extra day was a day too far.

Robin was suffering terribly in the weeks leading up to the court hearing. Although desperate to die he was literally clinging on to life for the sake of a positive ruling and the consequences this would have on a law change, and for others who may find themselves in his position. This was an extraordinary act of courage, and an extraordinary gift to our humanity.

We still await further legal clarity about the judge’s ruling yesterday, especially in the context of Robin’s untimely death. However regardless of what the judge may say, or the outcome of any appeals, nothing can rewrite yesterday’s ground-breaking ruling – the high court ruled in favour of a terminally ill man to have a physician assisted death, even by lethal injection (something which is not permitted in Switzerland or the five USA states).

Although we can truly treasure this moment, this victory, our journey is far from over. DignitySA’s single objective is to have a bill passed by parliament to allow for assisted dying. When you seek a law a change you have to be prepared for the long haul – however yesterday’s ruling has surely significantly shortened our journey.

Once the events of the past few days have settled we will need to regroup and strategise the way forward.

With much gratitude to you all
Sean Davison, 1st of May 2015

A Moment to Reflect: Professor Sean Davison

5 thoughts on “A Moment to Reflect: Professor Sean Davison

  • 14 September 2015 at 10:47

    I am very loathe to try any Cannabis or derivatives for any treatment, considering the apparent and much reported side effects on the brain. In extremis I might use it to alleviate pain.

  • 7 May 2015 at 10:17

    My husband and I are so grateful that there are other people out there that are determined to push the need for the bill for assisted death to be granted. My husband has cancer and there is nothing left for the doctors to do as he now has an infection that is resistant to all known anti-biotics. I found out about this side when we were first told of the results and told him about it, all we want is for his suffering to end. That’s all we pray for.

    To everyone that is trying their utmost best to get this bill passed, thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have all our support.

      • 17 June 2015 at 15:42

        Hi Dion,

        Thank you for the link, unfortunately the type of cancer my husband has is a rare type that acts very differently to all other cancer cells and due to that the canabis won’t work. We have done a lot of research and the cancer my husband has.

  • 6 May 2015 at 13:22

    What courage and a victory of the human spirit. I am deeply saddened that he did not have the comfort of knowing there is another option. Hopefully others in future will not have to endure such immense suffering and this will be due to his determination to fight for his own dignity and that of others


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