PRO-LIFE DOCTOR FINALLY ALLOWED TO PRACTICE AFTER BEING BARRED FOR ALMOST FIVE YEARS

After almost five years of being barred to practice medicine, the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) finally allowed Dr Jacques de Vos’ to continue with his career. Dr De Vos was suspended from completing the gynaecology rotation of his internship at 2 Military Hospital in the beginning of 2017. He was then charged by the HPCSA with unprofessional conduct for his views that the unborn child is a human being.

Following years of delays, the HPCSA finally withdrew the charges against Dr De Vos in September 2020. 2 Military Hospital, however, still refused to sign Dr De Vos off, citing his ‘refusal to comply with basic medical ethics’ (referring to his medical views on the humanity of the unborn child). It was only after persistent intervention of organisations such as Doctors For Life, assistance of various attorneys and advocates, as well as the perseverance of Dr De Vos that the HPCSA relented on 4 April 2022 and approved his registration as a medical practitioner for purposes of his community service.

Whilst Doctors For Life (DFL) is delighted that Dr De Vos can finally proceed to practice medicine, DFL is appalled at the unfair and discriminatory manner in which he was treated. The scientific reality of the humanity of the unborn child is generally undisputed. Nevertheless, Dr De Vos was effectively punished for his scientifically sound stance, by being barred to practice medicine for almost five years without a hearing. This was a gross and inexcusable violation of his constitutional rights. Doctors For Life calls upon the South African government to urgently enact measures to ensure protection of healthcare professionals who act conscientiously in line with sound science, and not to persecute ethical practitioners such as Dr De Vos.

High Court to hear Dr De Vos Application against HPCSA

Media Release

Embargo: Immediate release                                   Enquiries:   Doctors For Life Int.

Date:      01 February 2022                                         Telephone:   032 481 5550

The Review Application of Dr De Vos against the Health Professions Council of South Africa is to heard on 1 February 2022 in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria. Dr De Vos is asking the High Court to review and set aside the HPCSA’s decision to refuse to reconvene the professional conduct hearing against him.

Dr De Vos was charged with unprofessional conduct for allegedly advising a mother that her 19-week healthy unborn baby was a human being. The proceedings against Dr De Vos by the HPCSA started in 2017. In December 2020 Dr De Vos pleaded “not guilty”. The HPCSA then refused to reconvene the hearing so that the committee could hear the case and deliver a verdict, and cited as reason that the “complainant does not want to proceed”.

Since July 2017 Dr De Vos been unable to proceed with this career as the HPCSA would not issue him with a Medical Practitioner number as the hearing had not been concluded.

The HPCSA is opposing the application. Dr De Vos is represented by Adv K Matthee SC and Adv AR Duminy (instructed by De Wet Wepener Inc c/o Maphalla Mokate Conradi) and the HPCSA is represented by Adv M Majozi (instructed by Mgeno & Mteto Inc).

Doctors For Life has been assisting Dr De Vos since the beginning of 2017 with legal representation as well as renowned expert witnesses in the fields of embryology, human anatomy and psychology.

For more information contact Doctors For Life at [email protected]

Media Release: Before South Africa Decides to Permit Euthanasia, Consider the Evidence that often Get Glanced Over.

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Media Release

Embargo: Immediate release                    Enquiries:    Doctors For Life Int.

Date:       21 May 2021                               Telephone:   032 481 5550

  • Human Rights Organisation expressed concern over impact euthanasia law will have.
  • Canadian Medical Health Association concerned about Euthanasia
  • New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) published a study which uncovers abuse of the Euthanasia law.
  • Canadian pressure stories reveal how doctors often pressure patients into choosing euthanasia even after they showed no interest.

Since South African courts will again hear attempts to legalize euthanasia or Assisted Suicide, Doctors For Life (DFL) felt it necessary to highlight some key points from countries that have gone ahead and have valuable lessons for us to learn from, and to avoid exposing South African families to the same thing.

In January this year, the United Nations Human Rights Organisation (Office of the High Commissioner) published a statement on their website titled: Disability is not a reason to sanction medically assisted dying. In it, the UN Experts expressed concern about the growing trend to legalize euthanasia for people with disabilities and said that “when life-ending interventions are normalised for people who are not terminally ill or suffering at the end of their lives, such legislative provisions tend to rest on – or draw strength from – ableist assumptions about the inherent ‘quality of life’ or ‘worth’ of the life of a person with a disability.” They also said that “Disability should never be a ground or justification to end someone’s life directly or indirectly.”

In February this year, the Canadian Medical Health Association (CMHA) responded to the Canadian government’s recent decision to permit Medical Aid in Dying (MAiD) for people with mental illnesses expressing deep disappointment. According to CMHA, until the health care system adequately responds to the mental health needs of Canadians, assisted dying should not be an option. This they also testified before the Senate in November of 2020. CMHA points out that it is “not possible to determine whether any particular case of mental illness represents “an advanced state of decline in capabilities that cannot be reversed.” And the CMHA “know that cases of severe and persistent mental illness that are initially resistant to treatment can, in fact, show significant recovery over time. Mental illness is very often episodic. Death, on the other hand, is not reversible. In Dutch and Belgian studies, a high proportion of people who were seeking MAID for psychiatric reasons, but did not get it, later changed their minds.”

In August 2017, the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) published a Netherlands study titled: End-of-Life Decisions in the Netherlands over 25 years which uncovered abuse of the law. In 2015 there were 150 assisted suicide deaths, 431 terminations of life without request in the Netherlands. The Netherlands euthanasia law did not prevent 431 terminations of life without request. The euthanasia lobby will argue that legalizing euthanasia and assisted suicide will regulate and prevent these types of deaths, but in fact it normalizes it as an acceptable medical practice and makes it impossible to prevent or even censure someone who carries out similar acts.

One of the things that are hidden in the Euthanasia debate is the stories of pressure and coercion, DFL will only mention one of the many examples. In 2015-2016 euthanasia was sold to Canadians as legislation with safeguards that would only be for terminally ill people who were suffering and nearing death. In 2016, it was implied that requests for euthanasia would be made by the patient and not suggested by medical professionals. In August 2016, Candice Lewis (25) who was born with multiple disabilities was pressured by a doctor to ask for euthanasia. Candice was very sick and receiving treatment. The doctor asked her mother if she knew that assisted death was legalized – her mother said no.  The doctor said that he was in support of euthanasia and wanted to help her. The doctor was told that they were not interested in euthanasia and then the doctor told Candice’s mother that she was being selfish and he challenged Candice by saying: “do you know how sick you are?” Candice eventually recovered but just imagine, if the doctors advise was trusted and they made a decision based on that. More such examples can be referred to but this gives us just a glimpse of what South Africa can expect if Dr Suzanne Walters and her patient get their way and manage to persuade the court to legalize euthanasia in South Africa. Even though the UN Human Rights experts concern pertained to the disabled and euthanasia for them would amount to normalising and ableism, DFL reckons that the same is true for any other form of euthanasia.

References:

Canadian Medical Health Association: https://cmha.ca/news/statement-on-medical-assistance-in-dying-maid

Human Rights Statement: https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=26687&LangID=E

New England Journal of Medicine: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc1705630?query=featured_home

Article on SA attempt to legalize Euthanasia: https://www.groundup.org.za/article/atheists-go-court-over-right-die/

Stories of pressure & Coercion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tN4IgIlzDdE

Joint CDC and FDA Statement on Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine

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As of April 12, more than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen ) vaccine have been administered in the U.S. CDC and FDA are reviewing data involving six reported U.S. cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the J&J vaccine. In these cases, a type of blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) was seen in combination with low levels of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia). All six cases occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination. Treatment of this specific type of blood clot is different from the treatment that might typically be administered. Usually, an anticoagulant drug called heparin is used to treat blood clots. In this setting, administration of heparin may be dangerous, and alternative treatments need to be given.

CDC will convene a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on Wednesday to further review these cases and assess their potential significance. FDA will review that analysis as it also investigates these cases. Until that process is complete, we are recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution. This is important, in part, to ensure that the health care provider community is aware of the potential for these adverse events and can plan for proper recognition and management due to the unique treatment required with this type of blood clot.

Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare. COVID-19 vaccine safety is a top priority for the federal government, and we take all reports of health problems following COVID-19 vaccination very seriously. People who have received the J&J vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider. Health care providers are asked to report adverse events to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System at https://vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.htmlexternal icon.

CDC and FDA will provide additional information and answer questions later today at a media briefing. A recording of that media call will be available on the FDA’s YouTube channel.

Source: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website Statement | CDC Twitter post

New Study: Secondhand Marijuana Smoke More Hazardous Than Secondhand Tobacco Smoke

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(Alexandria, VA) Today, a new study found that secondhand marijuana smoke could be more hazardous to one’s health than secondhand smoke from cigarettes. 
The study compared emissions of fine particles, or particulate matter (PM 2.5) from tobacco smoke and marijuana smoke and found that the PM 2.5 emission rate of pre-rolled marijuana joints was 3.5 times higher than the average PM 2.5 emission rate of Marlboro cigarettes. Furthermore, the study also found that smoking marijuana indoors produced much more secondhand smoke emissions than the use of cigarettes indoors. 

“Previous research has shown us that secondhand smoke from marijuana is a hazard to health to both smokers and non-smokers alike, and now this study shows that marijuana smoke distributes more harmful particles into the air than cigarettes do,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet, president and co-founder of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) and a former senior drug policy advisor to the Obama Administration. “With the recent declaration that the use of marijuana in public areas will be allowed under the new legalization law in New York State, this new research solidifies the need for further public health guardrails to be put in place, not only in New York, but also in other states where the public use of marijuana proliferates. These risks to health cannot be ignored.” 

This study follows previous research finding marijuana users had higher levels of smoke-related toxins in their blood and urine than non-smokers. Marijuana users were found to have higher levels of dangerous toxins such as naphthalene, acrylamide, and acrylonitrile than those who do not smoke marijuana or tobacco. These toxins are associated with severe harms such as cancer, anemia, and liver and mental health damage. 

Legalization organizations have long targeted provisions of the Clean Indoor Air Act to allow for a marijuana exception. They have also denied the harms of secondhand smoke in areas such as public housing, which exposes the most vulnerable. Recent studies have found public housing exposes children to secondhand smoke more so than tobacco. 

Editor’s note: This article along with it’s linked resources was first published by Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM)

PRO-LIFE DOCTOR TAKES HPCSA TO COURT

Media Release

Embargo: Immediate release                                   Enquiries:   Doctors For Life Int.

Date:      22 January 2021                                         Telephone:   032 481 5550

Dr Jacques de Vos, whose professional conduct hearing has been delayed by the HPCSA since 2017, has applied to the North Gauteng High Court to compel the HPCSA to finalise the hearing against him. In 2017 Dr De Vos has been suspended from the gynaecology rotation during his internship at 2 Military Hospital, Cape Town after he advised a woman that her 19-week old unborn baby is a human life.

Since July 2017 Dr De Vos has been prevented from practising medicine and has been charged with unprofessional conduct. For the past three and a half years the HPCSA has been delaying the hearing against him, applied for postponements, and unilaterally withdrew the charges against Dr De Vos only to reinstate it almost a year later.
In December 2019 Dr De Vos pleaded “not guilty” to the charges against him. Despite the best efforts of his legal team, the HPCSA ignored Dr De Vos’ pleas to state his case. In September 2020 the HPCSA again unilaterally “withdrew” the charges for a second time. Lawyers for Dr De Vos will argue in the High Court that he is entitled to a conviction or acquittal because he has entered a plea, and that the HPCSA must proceed with the hearing with urgency.

Dr De Vos, who is wheelchair-bound, has faced severe ongoing prejudice as the result of the unexplained delays, failure to meet deadlines, and refusal to provide Dr De Vos with information of his alleged “misdemeanours”. This, despite Dr De Vos being ready to state his case, and despite expert witnesses in human anatomy and psychiatry being ready to testify.

Dr De Vos is a member of Doctors For Life International and has been assisting him with his case including fundraising to cover expenses (all lawyers are working pro-bono though), and arranging expert witnesses. For more information, contact Doctors For Life at [email protected]

Doctors For Life to Assist Pro-Life Member Doctor in High Court Application

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MEDIA RELEASE
 
Embargo: Immediate release                                Enquiries:  Doctors For Life Int.
Date:  30 October 2020                                          Telephone: 032 481 5550

After three years of stalling, the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) on 6 October 2020 “withdrew” the remaining charges against Dr Jacques de Vos. Dr De Vos was charged with unprofessional conduct after allegedly advising a woman that her 19-week old unborn baby is a human being.  

Adv Keith Matthee SC, who represents Dr De Vos, argued that it is not possible in law to withdraw charges after Dr De Vos entered a plea in December 2019. Dr De Vos is entitled to an acquittal (or a conviction). Lawyers for Dr De Vos wrote to the HPCSA to request that the hearing continue so that Dr De Vos can be heard and that it can be decided whether he acted unprofessionally or not.  

This was also not the first time that the HPCSA “withdrew” charges in the three years that it delayed the case against the pro-life doctor. In 2018 the HPCSA “withdrew” the charges only to reinstate it again. The real reason why the HPCSA is unable to proceed with the hearing is that the so-called “complainant” never submitted a complaint to the HPCSA. Instead, a clear paper trail points to two doctors (Drs Van Wyk and Ismail) at 2 Military Hospital who drove their personal vendetta against Dr De Vos for not agreeing to their worldview justifying abortion.  

Doctors For Life has called on the HPCSA to charge Drs Van Wyk and Ismail with gross unprofessional conduct for abusing their powers to achieve their own ideological goals.  

Despite requests to the HPCSA to set a date to proceed with Dr De Vos’ matter, no response has been received except the chairperson who indicated he has no powers to make arrangements for a hearing to take place. Doctors for Life and Dr De Vos has now instructed their lawyers to launch an application in the North Gauteng High Court to compel the HPCSA to set the matter down for hearing, and to ask for a personal costs order against the HPCSA, and/or against individuals at the HPCSA in their personal capacities given the vexatious and malicious conduct of the persons responsible, and the ongoing and extreme prejudice this conduct is causing Dr De Vos. 

For more information, contact Doctors For Life International at 032 481 5550 or [email protected]

Pro-life doctor’s hearing to resume after more delays

MEDIA RELEASE

Embargo: Immediate release                                      Enquiries:  Doctors For Life Int.

Date:        09 September 2020                                    Telephone: 032 481 5550

The hearing of Dr De Vos (charged by the HPCSA for advising that an unborn baby is a human life), will hopefully resume within the next three to four weeks. In November 2019 the HPCSA Professional Conduct Committee declared two of the four charges against Dr De Vos as unlawful. In December 2019 Dr De Vos pleaded “not guilty” to the remaining two charges. The HPCSA then asked for a postponement until April 2020 to give it time to apply to the High Court to set aside the decision of the Committee to strike two of the four charges. 

In April 2020 the prosecutor informed attorneys of Dr De Vos that the hearing is postponed due to COVID-19. Despite efforts to obtain a new date from the HPCSA to proceed with the hearing, Dr De Vos’ attorneys only received confirmation in September that the HPCSA prosecutor is ready to proceed. The actual date is still outstanding. 

Dr De Vos has been barred from practising medicine since 2016 when he was suspended due to his views that the unborn child is a human being. Since then he has been charged with unprofessional conduct but the hearing has been delayed several times by the HPCSA prosecutors. In the meantime, Dr De Vos cannot practice medicine and is being punished for his pro-life views. 

Dr De Vos’ is supported by Doctors For Life International, and represented by Senior Advocate Keith Matthee and De Wet Wepener Attorneys. A number of experts witnesses, such as Dr Chris Warton (lecturer in Human Anatomy and Embryology at the University of Cape Town) and Prof Priscilla Coleman (Human Development, Bowling Green University) are due to testify at the hearing. 

The legal team are acting pro bono (charge no fees). However, costs are mounting and contributions can be made to expenses of the case.  

https://www.backabuddy.co.za/jacques-de-vos

For more information, contact Doctors For Life at [email protected] or 032 481 5550.

US PROFESSOR TO TESTIFY IN TRIAL OF PRO-LIFE DOCTOR

Lawyers for Dr Jacques de Vos, who has been charged by the HPCSA for allegedly advising a mother that her healthy 19 week unborn baby is a human being, have given notice to the HPCSA that US professor Priscilla Coleman may be called as an expert witness.

Prof Coleman, Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, Bowling Green State University, Ohio, USA is a leading international expert on abortion and mental health. According to Prof Coleman, “over the past several decades, the number of peer-reviewed studies identifying adverse mental health outcomes associated with abortion have increased dramatically”.

She states that “hundreds of studies have revealed that women who choose abortion experience increased risk of mental health problems, including substance abuse, anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation and suicide, among other conditions and symptoms”.

Her research offers the largest quantitative estimate of mental health risks associated with abortion available in the world. Results (involving 877 297 participants, 163 880 of whom experienced an abortion) revealed that women who aborted compared to women who have not, experienced 81% increased risk for mental health problems. The results revealed that women who have abortions have the following increased risks: anxiety disorders 34%, depression 37%, alcohol abuse 110%, marijuana abuse 220% and suicide behaviours 155%.

After many delays on the part of the HPCSA since 2017, Dr De Vos pleaded “not guilty” to professional misconduct before a HPCSA Professional Conduct Committee in December 2019. The HPCSA prosecutor must now commence with evidence at the hearing scheduled on 2 April 2020 in Cape Town.

Dr De Vos, who is a member of Doctors For Life International (DFL) is supported by DFL and legal team (De Wet Wepener Attorneys and Adv Keith Matthee SC) on a pro bono basis. For more information contact Doctors For Life at [email protected] or 032 481 5550.

Prof. Chris Warton to represent Doctors For Life Int. in a TV debate on abortion.

Upcoming event:

This week Thursday, 13 February 2020 Prof. Chris Warton will be representing Doctors For Life International (DFL) in a TV debate on the topic of abortion. The debate will be a live broadcast between 06:00am & 08:00am on “Groot Ontbyt” on Kyknet as well as “Groot FM”. (It’s a TV and a radio station combined)

Prof. Warton is a professor in anatomy at the University of Cape Town, and one of DFL’s longest standing members. Please tune in and support Prof Warton and DFL by sending comments to the station’s SMS and whatsApp lines below during the show.

Tune in to Groot FM Live Streaming: http://ndstream.net/grootfm/pc.htm

Comment via WhatsApp: 061 610 4576
Send SMS: 49 905