‘Anti-abortion’ medic demands acquittal despite charge being dropped
Cape Town - Dr Jacques de Vos, the 33-year-old, medic whose charge of unprofessional conduct for allegedly dissuading a pregnant woman from terminating her pregnancy was dropped last week by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) is still looking for justice.
De Vos spoke out after his three-year experience and said: “I am entitled to a not guilty verdict. Not simply a withdrawal of charges.”
“I wanted to be a doctor to help people. It took a lot out of me to finish my studies and internship due to limitations caused by the debilitating illness that I struggle with,” said De Vos, who suffers from a venous disease that has confined him to a wheelchair.
His advocate Martus de Wet said: “Our client’s career has been on hold since he was suspended in June 2017. He must be acquitted after which he can sue for damages.”
During the HPCSA hearings, it emerged that De Vos’s internship at 2 Military Hospital in Wynberg has still not been signed off.
“We are trying to see if there is a way that he can practice medicine without the hospital’s official signing-off, otherwise we will have to compel them to sign him off,” said De Wet.
“The complainant never submitted a complaint. It was two of his supervisors who refused to sign him off.
“Then they referred the issue to the HPCSA intern committee, who referred the matter to the preliminary investigation committee who in turn referred it to the disciplinary committee.
“The real complainant never was the young lady.”
Meanwhile, senior counsel Keith Matthee, said: “We would invite the committee not only to express its strong disapproval of how Dr De Vos has been treated, but that it suggest to the medical council that the conduct of the two doctors who refused to sign him off, and anyone else who might have been involved in this vendetta against Dr De Vos, be investigated with a view to being charged.”
“Dr De Vos has bent over backwards to try and facilitate the speedy resolution of his hearing, including agreeing to make assumptions about the charges against him and very timeously going to great effort to obtain the expert evidence of three extremely well qualified and experienced experts.”
“It is our hope that the committee will act decisively and bring this travesty of justice to an immediate end by finding that Dr De Vos acted professionally and expressing its strong disapproval at the manner in which the HPSCA has treated him.”