Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has come out in support of right-to-die activist Sean Davison‚ who was arrested this week on charges of murder.
In a statement‚ Tutu called on lawmakers to factor in the rights of terminally ill patients who wanted dignity in death.
Davison‚ the founder of right-to-die organisation Dignity SA‚ was released on bail after being charged with murder on Wednesday in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court.
Davison‚ 57‚ was charged over a 2013 incident in which he allegedly assisted his doctor friend‚ Anrich Burger‚ to die. Burger became a quadriplegic after a car crash eight years earlier.
“Just as I have argued for compassion and fairness in life‚ I believe that terminally ill people should be treated with compassion and fairness when it comes to their death.
“This should include affording people who have reached the end stages of life the right to choose how and when to leave Mother Earth‚” said Tutu.
He said that he believed in the sanctity of life‚ “and that death is part of life”.
“Alongside the wonderful palliative care that exists‚ the choices available to the terminally ill should include dignified assisted death. It is a choice that I believe lawmakers should engage‚ enable and appropriately regulate‚” he said.