Doctors Urged to Stop Mercy Killing

  • Doctors in Africa have come out to oppose Euthanasia (mercy-killing) for patients who are critically ill.

    Talking at an Annual Association of Medical Council’s of Africa Conference held at Whitesands Hotel in Mombasa, the President of Health Professions Council of South Africa, Professor Mochichi Mokgokong stated that, 'mercy killing' was against the Doctors' code of ethics.

    “Doctors take an oath to protect life and not to end it. Even if a patient asked for euthanasia and the doctor administered it, it is nothing short of assisting a patient commit suicide, which is wrong,” said Mokgokong who heads Neurosurgery department at the University of Pretoria.

    Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board CEO Daniel Yumbya pointed out that Euthanasia is illegal in the country.

    “Euthanasia is criminal as there’s no law that allows it,” explained Yumbya.

    He called on better care to help relieve pain to patients before their lives come to an end.

    Euthanasia could be voluntary, when a patient makes the conscious decision to die and asks for the doctor to administer the shot.

    It could also be non-voluntary - when a person is unable to give their consent because they are in a comma and a family member makes the decision to end their life on their behalf. Neither of the two instances is legal in Kenya.

    However, some countries like the United States, Netherlands, Belgium among others have legalised the practice.