Bernadette Wicks
Senior court reporter
2 minute read
19 Feb 2021
8:01 am

‘Please end our suffering’: Doctor, patient pleads with court on assisted dying

Bernadette Wicks

They fear when the time comes they will be physically unable to commit suicide and were a doctor to assist them.

Does the right to life include the right to die? Picture: Getty Images

A Johannesburg doctor and her patient will on Monday try to persuade the High Court in Johannesburg to allow terminally ill men and women, like themselves, to end their lives on their own terms. Palliative care specialist Dr Suzanne Walter and retiree Diethelm Harck, whom she’s been treating, have launched a bold bid to develop the law in South Africa to allow for assisted dying. Harck has been suffering from motor neuron disease since 2013 and Walter from multiple myeloma since 2017. The pair in their papers said they both suffered from symptoms which caused them “great pain, suffering and...