Assisted suicide fight ‘not in vain’

Dignity SA says the ruling is a victory despite the death of the applicant.

FILE. Dignity SA says it will celebrate a court decision granting Robin Stransham-Ford his bid for assisted suicide. Picture: Stock.xchng.

JOHANNESBURG - The North Gauteng High Court ruling in favour of assisted suicide is a victory despite the death of the Cape Town advocate who fought for the right, pro-euthanasia group Dignity South Africa said on Thursday.

Robin Stransham-Ford died of natural causes on Thursday morning at age 65 while awaiting a ruling on his request for professional medical assistance in taking his own life.

While Dignity SA says it will celebrate the court's decision to grant the advocate his wish, others say they will strongly oppose the ruling.

The group says Stransham-Ford's fight was not in vain as he set a precedent for many others.

Dignity SA's Sean Davison says, "He gave his death to the world as a gift to our humanity. It was a wonderful gift. He will be remembered forever."

The Department of Health, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and other organisations confirmed they'll challenge the decision.

The Department of Justice says the ruling is a slap in the face of the Constitution and institutions like the NPA.

The Ethics Institute of South Africa's Deon Rossouw says the issue crosses various lines, including religious and philosophical ones.