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Kiwi euthanasia advocate charged with murder in South Africa

Author
NZ Herald,
Section
National,
Publish Date
Thursday, 20 September 2018, 8:57p.m.
Sean Davison outside the High Court in Dunedin in 2011 before being sentenced for the assisted suicide of his mother Patricia. (Photo / File)
Sean Davison outside the High Court in Dunedin in 2011 before being sentenced for the assisted suicide of his mother Patricia. (Photo / File)

A New Zealand citizen, with a previous conviction for assisted suicide in Dunedin, has appeared in a South African court on a murder charge.

Sean Davison is facing the charges in relation to the death of Anrich Burger who became a quadriplegic after a vehicle accident in 2005 - he was not terminally ill.

Davison pleaded not guilty and was released on bail of NZ$2050 and is due to reappear in court again on November 16.

He admitted that in 2014 he injected lethal drugs into Burger, a close friend of his, in November of the previous year, News24 reports.

In 2011 Davison was sentenced to five months' house arrest in Dunedin after pleading guilty to counselling and procuring his mothers suicide.

Davison is the president of the World Federation of Right to Die Societies, which supports euthanasia and assisted suicide for adults with incurable illnesses. The New Zealand End of Life Choice Society (formerly the Voluntary Euthanasia Society) is a member.

The 57-year-old said in 2014, "not all quadriplegics want to die, but those who do want to, should have the option," during a speech at the Federation's conference.

The executive officer of Euthanasia-Free NZ, Renée Joubert said Davison's actions suggest the Federation wants any adult to be eligible.

"Mr Davison's words and actions demonstrate that 'assisted dying' advocates don't really want a narrow law limited to terminal illness, but one that would eventually allow virtually any competent adult to be eligible, including people with disabilities.

"Disabled people would be included under both clauses of David Seymour's Bill.

"Terminal illness involves disability. So do many other long-standing physical and mental conditions," Joubert said.

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