1.4 The history of the applicants in abusing the law & ethics

The history of the applicants in defying and abusing the law and ethics
Cannabis
• The applicant admits in his affidavit to being treated with cannabis (not legal in South Africa).
• The applicant’s photograph appears on the web site of the lobby group Dignity SA in front of a banner promoting Cannabis.
• A newspaper report cites another Dignity SA activist who committed suicide receiving Cannabis from the applicant. This activist also lobbied in parliament to legalise Cannabis.
• This was and is still being motivated as a ‘Right to life’ cause – a very creative misinterpretation of the right to life.

Violation of own criteria for assisted suicide
• The lobby group Dignity SA, led by Sean Davidson, is by common cause the real applicant.
– This is evident from their web site, social media posts and from the applicants affidavit.
• Sean Davidson confessed in a media interview to an assisted with the suicide of a man, who was not terminally ill, which is the criterion promoted by the lobby group. He then says they are revising their own criteria.
• This is Sean Davidson’s second assisted suicide and a flagrant violation of the law and his own previous ethical guideline.
Stretching of criteria in media debate
• There is an open public debate amongst Dignity SA own supporters on social media on how far criteria for assisted suicide should be allowed (i.e. Facebook and Blogs). Dignity SA has not made any effort to marginalise or censor more radical views within their own ranks and in fact continues to profile these people and their views.
• One euthanasia activist, frequently profiled on their social media, has argued the minority assisted suicide should be extended to children (as in Belgium).
• They have posted an article in favour of extending to the clinically depressed, with supportive comments by many of their supporters.
• Some posts argue for individual right to decide (rather than medical criteria).
• One commenting post argues for a state decided age limit for everyone and a duty to die for those who exceed it.

Failure to define any new boundary criteria
• The judge argued against the existing legal and medical precedent boundary for killing. Nevertheless, he failed to draw any new alternative clear boundary. Neither has the applicant lobby group.

Other issues relating to applicant
Motivation of applicant: Not actually a real application for suicide
• The applicant already had pain medication his possession, which he could easily overdose on to commit suicide. He could have taken this at any time but did not. The only remaining motivation for the court application which he did not already have was:
– Obtain assistance from a medical practitioner
– To obtain the blessing of the court for his actions
– To set a judicial precedent
• The lobby group Dignity SA stated after his death that he was deliberately hanging on to life for the sake of the court case and died on exactly the day he predicted beforehand he would.
• The applicant was a lawyer, as is the similar applicant in New Zealand.
• The applicant’s son published a poem about his fathers death with verse ‘rage, rage against the dying of the light’.
• The evidence tends to suggest the real motivation of the applicant was not to obtain the right or assistance for suicide but to obtain a legacy through the court case and media publicity surrounding it.
• It is common for people to commit suicide at locations and in a manner that will make people remember them.

Subjective concept of dignity of the applicant
• The applicant begins his affidavit listing his exceptional physical and professional achievements, which would require a very high level of intellect.
• He argues that it would be intolerable to his dignity to die in an intellectually impaired and weak state dependent on others and thus prefers suicide while he still has some strength left.
• Nevertheless, this argument implies that others in this category, many of them for their whole lives do not have dignity, thus contradicting the Bill of Rights position on the equality of dignity of all.