Other guidelines in the South African context

OTHER GUIDELINES IN THE SOUTH AFRICAN CONTEXT

* Please also do not use the so-called ‘Dignity SA’ euphemism ‘Assisted dying’, which trivialises suicide and murder. The correct term is ‘assisted suicide’ where the patient is given a lethal prescription and ‘euthanasia’ or ‘patient murder’ where the doctor actively kills. The Fabricius Stransham-Ford judgment legalises both.

* Please put the organisation name ‘Dignity SA’ in inverted commas or say ‘So-called ‘Dignity SA’. They are undermining the dignity of disabled, weak and vulnerable people by trying to make them disposable.

* Think about the consequences of profiling so called ‘hard cases’ who say they want to die, for the ordinary weak, disabled and HIV positive person who has become an economic and care burden to others. Remember the early 1990s ‘hard-case’ high profile reporting on abortion, and the consequences of 1.2 million babies now dead from abortion on demand. The euthanasia lobby are using the same arguments, media tactics and language of personal choice likely to expand the criteria from ‘hard cases’.

* Please do not use the term ‘voluntary euthanasia’. There is no such thing, or way of policing it. Consent with euthanasia if legalised cannot and has never been successfully controlled. The main witness is dead. Vulnerable people are put under pressure to commit suicide and feel unwanted. One in ten Belgian nurses have confessed to euthansia without consent, in a country nurses are not even allowed to perform euthansia. http://goo.gl/g5ZqZy

* Terminally ill South Africans under existing law have the right to refuse extra-ordinary medical treatment or to go to hospital and choose to just be treated for pain until they die peacefully at home. In almost all cases, including the high media profile ones, this pain management is medically simple and effective and just needs a doctors prescription and can be self-administered or with the help of family or a nurse. All South African medical associations and the pro-life movement supports these rights. Please make people aware of these alternatives and the pro-life movements support of them, to counter the misinformation from euthanasia activists and euthanasia advocacy journalists.

* What we are seeing on assisted suicide coverage is mostly advocacy journalism, repetitive misinformation and not balanced reporting.

* If you wish to check the facts and allegations made by so-called Dignity SA and Judge Fabricius, you are welcome to phone me 082 6768966 or email me philip@rosenthal.net. You will get a quick response.

We are asking certain individual journalists for corrections and deletion of unethical reports off the internet. Should this type of unethical reporting continue, we reserve the right to file complaints with the relevant media ombudsmans and journalistic associations. Nevertheless, we prefer not to follow this route. Hopefully we can correct this situation in an amicable way through the use of these guidelines.