NRL News

Euthanasia leader, Sean Davison, loses his medical license in New Zealand

by | Aug 13, 2020

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Sean Davison, who is the President of the World Federation of Right to Die Societies and a leader of Dignity South Africa, lost his medical license in New Zealand Tuesday.

After a two hour deliberation,  the five person panel of the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal announced that Davison’s registration was cancelled. They also censured Davison and fined him $8500.

In June 2019, Davison was sentenced to 3 years’ house arrest  in the deaths of Anrich Burger (in 2013), Justin Varian (in 2015), and Richard Holland (in 2015). Davison was also convicted in 2011 in the death of his mother, Patricia Davison, in New Zealand (in 2006).

An article by Hannah Martin for Stuff New Zealand reported:

An Auckland-born doctor convicted of helping three people to die overseas has been struck off the register. 

Euthanasia advocate Professor Sean Davison appeared before the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal on Tuesday via video link from South Africa, where he lives. 

In 2019 – while holding a provisional registration with the Medical Sciences Council of New Zealand – the medical laboratory scientist pleaded guilty to three murders in South Africa and was sentenced to three years’ house arrest.

Martin reported that Davison had been granted a provisional request to practice medicine in New Zealand but was “struck off” the register because he did not disclose to the tribunal his convictions in South Africa in the deaths of Burger, Varian and Holland, even though he did disclose his conviction in the death of his mother.

Martin reported that the Professional Conduct Committee found that Davison undermined the integrity of the profession:

A lawyer for the Professional Conduct Committee, Jo Hughson, said Davison’s convictions and omissions to the Medical Sciences Council reflected adversely on his fitness to practise, and “undermined the integrity” of the profession. 

Hughson stated Davison’s actions demonstrated he believed he was “above the law”. 

His role in the deaths was a “deliberate breach of the obligation of all medical practitioners” to protect the “sanctity” of life, and would be seen by the public as “unacceptable” of a person registered in New Zealand, Hughson said. 

Davison’s lawyer responded that his client did not believe he was “above the law” but recognized that he had not disclosed his murder convictions in South Africa.

New Zealand’s parliament passed a euthanasia bill in November 2019 by a vote of 69 to 51. In order to obtain enough votes to pass the Act, the government agreed to a referendum. The referendum will take place September 2-19 which is happening during the election. 

The language of the New Zealand End-of-Life Choice Act referendum is similar to the Canadian euthanasia law.

Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.

Categories: Euthanasia