Citizen reporter
1 minute read
19 Jun 2019
10:42 am

Euthanasia activist Sean Davidson sentenced to eight years for murder

Citizen reporter

Five of the eight years were suspended while he will spend three of them under house arrest performing community service.

FILE PICTURE: Sean Davison on a holiday with his mother. Picture: Supplied

A campaigner for the legalisation of euthanasia in South Africa, Sean Davidson, was on Wednesday reportedly sentenced to eight years for murder in the Western Cape High Court.

News24 reports that Davidson had entered a plea deal which will see five of those years suspended while he will be under arrest for the other three years.

Davidson is expected to perform community service during the three years under house arrest.

It was reported that Davidson had pleaded guilty to charges of helping three individuals who sought to end their lives.

One of the three individuals is his late friend Anrich Burger who became a quadriplegic after a car crash.

The 57-year-old made international headlines in 2010 after giving his mother, who was suffering from terminal cancer, a lethal dose of morphine. He spent five months under house arrest in New Zealand.

Davison founded Dignity South Africa in 2011 to campaign for the legalisation of euthanasia in South Africa.

In December 2016, South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal overturned a ruling that granted a man the right to medically assisted death and could have opened the way to legalise euthanasia.

The government appealed against the initial judgment, saying it could lead to assisted-suicide legislation that would be open to abuse.

Medically assisted suicide or voluntary euthanasia is illegal in South Africa, but in recent years there have been growing calls for it to be legalised.

South African retired Anglican archbishop and anti-apartheid icon Desmond Tutu, 86, has previously said he would like to be allowed the option of a dignified assisted death.

(Compiled by Makhosandile Zulu. Additional reporting, ANA and AFP)

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