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SA Archbishop Tutu, 85, opts for Assisted Death

BBC African News
SA Archbishop, Desmond Tutu
SA Archbishop, Desmond Tutu

South Africa's Archbishop, Desmond Tutu, says he wants to have the option of an assisted death.
Mr. Tutu said he did "not wish to be kept alive at all costs."

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate and anti-apartheid campaigner wrote the statement in the Washington Post newspaper on his 85th birthday Friday, October 7, 2016.

He came out in favor of “assisted dying” in 2014 without specifying whether he personally wanted to have the choice.

The South African Archbishop was hospitalized last month for surgery to treat recurring infections.

"I hope I am treated with compassion and allowed to pass on to the next phase of life's journey in the manner of my choice," Mr Tutu wrote in the newspaper.

"Regardless of what you might choose for yourself, why should you deny others the right to make this choice?” he asked.

"For those suffering unbearably and coming to the end of their lives, merely knowing that an assisted death is open to them, can provide immeasurable comfort." There is no specific legislation in South Africa governing assisted dying.

But in a landmark ruling in April 2015, a South African court granted a terminally ill man the right to die, prompting calls for a clarification of the laws in cases of assisted death.



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