JUDGE Hans Fabricius’s recent High Court ruling allowing a terminally ill cancer patient to have medically assisted suicide, has opened a debate that is as fractious as it is emotive, with one of the country’s top bioethicists questioning whether South African society is ready for such a sweeping change."My concern is that, at the moment, we do not have adequate control in this country on much of what we do," says Prof Ames Dhai, director of the Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics at the University of the Witwatersrand."And for as long as the country does not have adequate access to palliative care, and … (does) not have adequate checks and balances in place, we are not ready for euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide."She echoes one of the biggest concerns expressed by Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, who with the South African Medical Association and minister of justice is deeply opposed to any form of medically assisted death.Confronting them is Dignity SA, a lobby group campaigni...

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