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'No regrets': South African doctor released after euthanasia sentence

Sean Davison who was arrested for aiding his mother to die by injecting her speaks about the incident at Upper East Hotel. Picture Cindy waxa.

Sean Davison who was arrested for aiding his mother to die by injecting her speaks about the incident at Upper East Hotel. Picture Cindy waxa.

Published Jun 20, 2022

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A South African campaigner for the legalisation of euthanasia, convicted of premeditated murders of three people he helped to die, was released from house arrest Monday after serving a three-year sentence.

Sean Davison was sentenced in 2019 to eight years under house arrest, five of which were suspended.

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"I certainly do not regret what I did," Davison told AFP.

"I helped three men suffering unbearably with no hope of recovery, who were determined to die and they were incapable of ending their own lives".

He held a press conference to mark his release on the steps of the Cape Town High Court on Monday.

The conditions of his house arrest meant he was allowed to go to work and church, but imposed a three-year media ban.

The biotechnology professor was arrested in September 2018 and charged with murder over three "right-to-die" cases, including of his friend, a quadriplegic man and a man with motor-neuron disease.

Davison, 59, who founded right-to-die charity Dignity SA, paid tribute to the late Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu for his support to the assisted dying movement campaign.

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In 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.

"While I've been on house arrest, a number of countries changed the law," said Davison, citing Australia, Spain and the United States. There is a general move around the world for a law change.

“And my issue has highlighted it again in South Africa, and hopefully, the politicians are going to sit up and listen and also feel the mood of the country."

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AFP

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