Dignity South Africa’s Patrons campaign to change the law to allow terminally ill, mentally competent adults the choice of an assisted death.
Avron Moss ☆ 1965 – † 2015
Some terminally ill, mentally competent, patients in inexorable pain and unendurable suffering consciously choose to die in dignity.
That health care professionals cannot assist them, and that these patients are forced to buy questionable medication to end their lives from unscrupulous websites, or suffer the terror of having to shoot or hang themselves, ought to be abhorrent to any caring professional. Yet it is within the expertise of the medical profession to offer such patients assistance with the death they are asking for: a safe, pain-free, peaceful and dignified ending.
The relevant law in South Africa actively perpetuates suffering, in conflict with our Constitution and with Human Rights, and is indefensibly unjust. All caring health care professionals ought to be actively involved in campaigning to change the law.
Brian O’Connell VC UWC
I am entirely persuaded of the ethical case for giving people the right to seek assistance in dying when they have a terminal illness with symptoms that are both unbearable and unable to be alleviated by good care.
Lord Joel Joffe CBE
I support Dignity South Africa because I care about suffering and want the law changed so that those who presently suffer terrible deaths will in future have the option to end their suffering through ending their lives at a time and in the manner of their choice.
I consider assisted dying a fundamental human right, and submit that the height of hypocrisy is being pro death penalty but against euthanasia and abortion.
My body, my right, my choice.
Kgomotso Matsunyane is a broadcaster, writer, and filmmaker based in Cape Town and Johannesburg. She is an accomplished documentary director and producer, and has been a commissioning editor for drama at SABC1, after which she was editor at The Oprah Magazine (SA). She is a former partner at T.O.M. Pictures, where she hosted and produced a late night talk show.
She is also the former host of a daily and a weekend morning show on Kaya FM & Talk Radio 702/567 Cape respectively. She is currently MD of her own production company, One Man & His Dog Films (O.M.A.H.D. Films, CC) – a feminist TV and Film company with particular emphasis in women, as well as sexual & reproductive health.
I think that society needs to show compassion to terminally ill people who face terrible suffering before their death, by giving them the option for an assisted death before that suffering becomes unbearable.
Sir Terence English KBE FRCS
During my life as a surgeon I have come across mentally competent, terminally ill patients who would have welcomed the option of being able to choose the timing and circumstances of their death.
I believe the legalisation of assisted dying is important for those who, like me, wish to have this degree of control over their final days.
Towards the end of his life my grandfather, Makhura Sexwale, was in his hospital bed in great pain. His ailments were caused by his failing aged body. His mind was as sharp as a blade. I sat at his bedside with tears rolling down my face as he begged me to get him discharged so he could die at home. We’d never discussed euthanasia before until that day when he said: “If I had a gun I would shoot myself. If I could convince you to drug me to death, would you do it?” I knew then that my long-held belief for assisted dying for those with no hope of recovery but in great pain was not misguided. He passed away 3 months later naturally at home on his 97th birthday in February 2015.
It is in his memory I accept the honour of being a Dignity SA patron.