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

MILITARY HOSPITAL ACKNOWLEDGES WRONG DONE TO PRO-LIFE DOCTOR

The commanding officer of 2 Military Hospital has written to the attorneys of Dr JH De Vos, acknowledging that wrong has been done by preventing Dr De Vos from being signed off as a medical intern.

Dr De Vos was a medical intern at 2 Military Hospital when he was suspended without a hearing from the Gynaecology rotation for his views that the unborn child is a human being. The Intern Curator, Dr Ismail, together with the head of gynaecology, Dr Van Wyk were responsible for taking this action at the beginning of 2017. Dr De Vos’ internship was completed in June 2017 after which he was due to start his community service. However, the Dr Van Wyk (gynaecology) and Dr Walele (paediatrics) then refused to sign Dr De Vos off, effectively barring him starting his community service.

Dr De Vos was then charged with unprofessional conduct, and after more than two years of delays, the professional conduct committee on 3 December 2019 struck down two of the charges against Dr De Vos and confirmed that the disciplinary hearing does not stop the hospital from signing Dr De Vos off.

In the meantime the new officer commanding of 2 Military Hospital has written to Dr De Vos’ attorneys, acknowledging the wrongful actions of his predecessors and committed to assisting Dr De Vos to be signed off. Subsequently, the paediatrics department confirmed that Dr De Vos is signed off.

*Despite all these developments, Dr Van Wyk persistently refuses to sign Dr De Vos off. Lawyers for Dr De Vos are now considering his options to take Dr Van Wyk and or Dr Ismail to Court to compel them to sign him off, and for compensation for the damages that he has suffered, in their personal capacities.*

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 057 004 0004.

DOCTOR WHO ADVISED UNBORN BABY IS A HUMAN BEING PLEADS “NOT GUILTY” TO CHARGES

Media Release

The hearing of Dr De Vos resumed today in respect of counts 1 and 2 (that he tried to persuade a mother not to kill her healthy 19-week-old baby). As the hearing started the lawyers for Dr De Vos indicated that the HPCSA still had not complied with the ruling of the Disciplinary Committee on 30 August 2019, i.e. they had not provided the information needed for Dr De Vos to plead.

The Committee Chairperson indicated that, as a result of the prosecutor failing to provide the information, the Committee wanted to relook at whether there is any bad faith on the part of the HPCSA.

Dr De Vos then waived his right to claim that the HPCSA were acting in bad faith in order to proceed with the hearing. His reason for waiving this right among other things was that after 2 ½ years of bad faith by those driving the matter against him, the time had come for the truth of the matter to be heard.  The hearing then proceeded and De Vos pleaded “not guilty” to counts 1 and 2. Below is a copy of Dr De Vos’ plea wherein he briefly set out the truth of the matter.

The hearing has been set down for 2, 3, 22 and 23 April 2020.


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

Read Dr de Vos’s plea here:

TWO CHARGES AGAINST PRO-LIFE DOCTOR SET ASIDE

Doctors For Life International welcomes the progress made in defending Dr Jacques de Vos against the persecution he had to endure for advising that an unborn baby is a human being. Dr De Vos has been barred from continuing with his medical career for more than two years now and has been charged with unprofessional conduct by the HPCSA. His hearing has been delayed and rescheduled, and charges have been changed on more than one occasion. On 28 and 29 October 2019, Dr De Vos’ legal team argued among other things, that the delays render the hearing unfair and the charges are unlawful.

On 3 December 2019 the Disciplinary Committee made a ruling that counts 3 and 4 are set aside and that the hearing is to continue on counts 1 and 2 only. This means that the only charge now facing Dr De Vos is that he tried to convince a woman not to authorise a doctor to kill her healthy 19 week old unborn child.

Secondly, after some two years of linking their refusal to sign Dr De Vos off with the outstanding disciplinary proceedings, the Wynberg Military Hospital has now abandoned this position. (In this regard the Disciplinary Committee of the HPSCA in effect in its reasons delivered on Tuesday has confirmed this de-linking. Prior to this despite letters to the HPSCA requesting clarity on this, no response was forthcoming from the HPSCA.)

The hearing will continue on *9 December 2019* at the Southern Sun Hotel, Newlands, Cape Town. The parties will try and reach an agreement about the future conduct of this matter as regards to the single incident relating to the unborn child.

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, please contact Martus De Wet at [email protected]

DR DE VOS UPDATE

26 November 2019

The Disciplinary committee must give their decision (together with reasons) whether to dismiss counts 3 and 4, and give their reasons for not dismissing counts 1 and 2.

Until then, Dr de Vos is not in a position to decide whether to apply to the High Court for review.

The next hearing date is 09 December 2019 at the Southern Sun, Newlands, Cape Town.

For more information contact: Martus De Wet of De Wet Wepener Attorneys at 057 004 0004 / Email: [email protected]

PRO LIFE DR DE VOS HPCSA HEARING UPDATE RULINGS AND REASONS OF DISCIPLINARY COMMITTEE’S DECISION AWAITED APPLICATION FOR REVIEW TO HIGH COURT CONSIDERED

Media Release

The long-awaited professional conduct hearing of Dr De Vos, who allegedly advised a mother that her unborn baby is a human being, started on 27 and 28 October 2019 in Cape Town. Over two days, four grounds were argued as to why all the charges against Dr De Vos should be set aside. 

In essence, these grounds were: 

1. The HPSCA did not follow its own regulations before the decision to charge Dr De Vos and thus the hearing was a nullity. 

2. The charges were too vague to enable dr De Vos to prepare his defence. 

3. The length of time between when action was first taken against him, April 2017, and the eventual hearing on 29th October 2019, was excessive and for various reasons unfair. In this regard amongst other things the following was emphasized: All the delays were caused by the HPSCA, without any explanation a single charge was withdrawn in July 2018, only to be reinstated a few months later in November 2018, only to be replaced by four wholly new charges some 3 weeks before the first day of the hearing in August 2019, the severe ongoing prejudice to dr De Vos who as a result of the conduct of the HPSCA has not been able to practice as a doctor since June 2017 up to the present day, despite not yet having had a hearing. 

4. Bad faith by the HPSCA – numerous examples were given, including the changing of the charge sheets and the failure to give necessary information in terms of undertakings by it. 

Various decisions of the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal were relied on by Dr De Vos.

During the first day, the prosecutor for the first time provided some of the information sought by De Vos to prepare for the hearing (e.g. a medical report), and conceded that other crucial information is not in their possession (e.g. the text messages referred to in the charges, and the statement by the complainant (patient) in charges 1 & 2). 

At the end of the second day, after a short adjournment by the disciplinary committee of the HPSCA, it ruled that counts 1 and 2  “were properly before it” (which suggests it was thinking of the nullity argument) and could continue. Furthermore, it stated that it still had to decide about counts 3 and 4. No reasons were provided at the time of the ruling, and the Committee said it would give its reasons for its decision later.

Dr De Vos’s legal representative informed the committee that before they could decide on the way ahead, they needed a decision about counts 3 and 4 and the reasons for all their decisions. The main reason for wanting the reasons is so that a decision can be made as to whether the decision should be taken to the High Court on review. The disciplinary committee was also informed that a piecemeal approach, starting with counts 1 and 2 whilst they made a decision on counts 3 and 4, was impractical and ill advised.

What is of possible significance is that when it made its ruling the committee of the HPSCA stated that counts 1 and 2 were “properly” before it. This suggests that at this stage the committee had only addressed the nullity argument of Dr De Vos, and not the arguments as regards the vagueness of the charges, that a fair hearing was no longer possible and that the matter was driven by bad faith on the part of the HPSCA. When clarity was asked for in this regard, the chairperson stated that their ruling also took into account the other said points. This is one of the reasons why the reasons of the committee are so important – to enable the legal representatives of Dr De Vos to try and understand how the committee arrived at its decision, not least of all how it dealt with the cited decisions of the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal. This is crucial before the legal representatives advise Dr De Vos on the way ahead. 

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

29 October 2019, DE VOS UPDATE:

The legal team for Dr De Vos argued that the case against him is a nullity and that it should be struck off the roll. Arguments continued until 16h30 and will continue today at 9h30.

Among other things, De Vos’ legal team argued that the charges are vague, the delay of almost three years is excessive, and that the HPCSA has not provided the prescribed information to De Vos’ legal team despite the ruling of the disciplinary committee on 27 August.

The HPCSA prosecutor argued that all information has been provided. This was disputed by De Vos’ legal team. Some additional information was then provided.

However, the committee must still rule on all the points raised by De Vos’ legal team.

Arguments will continue tomorrow at 9h30 at the Southern Sun Hotel, Newlands.

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