Kent Durr MP speech to the NCOP

Kent Durr MP’s speech to the National Council of Provinces

Draft Resolution
21 September 1999

Mr K D S DURR: Madam Chairperson, I move without notice:

That the Council –
(1) notes –
(a) the new proposals for legislation on euthanasia by the SA Law Commission;
(b) that the proposed Bill, contrary to what was expected and said, contains provisions for active euthanasia;
(c) that these proposals constitute a total departure from medical practice as we have come to know it;
(d) that the proposals contain the same principles as the German T4 programme, which was condemned as a crime against humanity at Nuremberg;
(e) that the options in the proposed Bill, if accepted, will not only legalise physician assisted suicide and active euthanasia, but also compulsory euthanasia;
(f) that, if passed, the legislation would be the most liberal in the world; and
(g) that the proposed legislation apparently has not taken into account the results of the survey of the Medical Association of SA,

(2) further notes that the proposed legislation –
(a) will allow active voluntary euthanasia;
(b) will not require a written request from the patient;
(c) will allow court-mandated, active, nonvoluntary euthanasia for incompetent patients if “interested” parties request it;
(d) will not even require a waiting period;
(e) will indemnify the doctor from liability even if he or she misses a diagnosis or messes up the suicide;
(f) will render it impossible for the family to sue the doctor;
(g) will make the doctor both judge and executioner with no court of appeal;
(h) ignores views of the Doctors for Life organisation of more than 600 doctors, specialists and professors of medicine in South
Africa and of the SA Christian Lawyers Association;
(i) will send a chill into the heart of every old and infirm person in South Africa; and

(3) therefore calls upon the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development and on the Minister of Health not to proceed with proposals to legalise euthanasia in South Africa until they have carefully considered the views of, inter alia, the Medical Association of SA, Doctors for Life and the SA Christian Lawyers Association.

Mr M A SULLIMAN: Chairperson, we reject the motion as
presented by the hon member Mr Durr. I do not believe it is
necessary for me to give a motivation.

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order! In the light of the objection, in terms of the Rules the motion may not be proceeded with. The motion will therefore become notice of a motion.