Media Release 13 August 2020
The Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal on 11 August found Dr Davison guilty of unprofessional conduct and announced that his registration as a medical practitioner would be cancelled. The hearing was via video link from South Africa where he resides.
This is a very important decision as it reaffirms the stance of the medical profession in New Zealand that it is not only unlawful but contrary to the ethics of the medical profession for a doctor to kill a patient by administering a lethal injection to a patient or assisting in their suicide. Euthanasia is not medical care. Doctors are carers not killers.
Right to Life believes that the community should be profoundly grateful to the Tribunal for its integrity and for ensuring that doctors who are not prepared to respect the sanctity of life and the right to life of every patient are not fit to practise medicine.
Dr Davison is a euthanasia activist and was in 2016 the President of the International Federation of Right to Die Societies. On its website, the Federation supports euthanasia and assisted suicide for “all competent adults with incurable illnesses” – not only those with terminal illnesses and six months to live. The End of Life Choice Act of David Seymour is but the first step in achieving the goals of the international euthanasia movement.
Jo Hughson, a lawyer for the Professional Conduct Committee said that Dr Davison’s role in the murder of three patients in South Africa was a “a deliberate breach of the obligation of all medical practitioners “ to protect the sanctity of life and would be seen by the public as unacceptable of a doctor registered in New Zealand.
Dr Davison was sentenced to eight years suspended sentence for five years. He is currently serving a sentence of three years house arrest in South Africa after being initially charged with three counts of murder. In a plea bargaining, the charges were reduced to assisted suicides. The first was in 2013, a friend, Dr Anrich Burger, who became a quadriplegic in a motor car accident. The second was Justin Varian, in 2015, who had Motor Neuron disease and the third was Richard Holland, who in 2015 suffered brain injuries in a cycling accident.
Dr Davison was found guilty in 2011 in the High Court in Dunedin of procuring the assisted suicide of his 85 year old mother who had terminal cancer. He was given a sentence of five months home detention.
Right to Life believes that this important decision should encourage voters to reject a culture of death by voting “no” to the euthanasia referendum. We should continue to uphold the sanctity of life of every person, protect the vulnerable in our community and defend the ethics of the medical profession in this commitment to be carers and not killers.
Right to Life