This dissertation aims to examine and analyse the current South African position with regard to voluntary euthanasia. An examination is made from constitutional law, common law, case law and statutory law perspectives, including the legislation proposed by the South African Law Commission (project 86). The writings of prominent authors are considered. Once the South African position is examined, a comparative study is undertaken concerning relevant aspects in the Dutch law. The most important findings are that the South African Constitution may allow, and perhaps even demand, the legalization of voluntary euthanasia in South Africa, provided that sufficient safeguards can be established to effectively and sufficiently minimize the risk of abuse. Should this be impossible, the proscription of euthanasia may be reasonable and justifiable in an open and democratic society based on human dignity, equality and freedom. Finally, some recommendations are made for changes to the South African Law Commission’s Final Draft Bill.
Dissertation (LLM (Medical Law))--University of Pretoria, 2008.