Dignified assisted death should be available to terminally ill: Tutu

Archbishop Desmond Tutu speaks during a memorial service for former South African President Nelson Mandela at Westminster Abbey in London March 3, 2014. REUTERS/John Stillwell/Pool

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu says the choices available to the terminally ill should include dignified assisted death.

Tutu was reacting to the arrest of University of the Western Cape academic, Professor Sean Davison in connection with an alleged case of assisted suicide.

The 57-year-old founder of Dignity SA was arrested in connection with an incident that occurred in Sea Point in 2013 which led to the death of a 43-year-old, Dr. Anrich Burger.

In 2011, Davison was sentenced to five months house arrest after he helped his 85-year old terminally-ill mother to die via assisted suicide.

He had entered into a plea agreement with authorities in New Zealand.

In a statement, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, who has in the past been vocal in his support for assisted suicide, says people who are terminally ill should be treated with compassion and fairness when it comes to their death.

Tutu says the terminally ill should have a choice and that lawmakers should engage, enable and appropriately regulate that choice.

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