Health Professions Council Abusing Pro-Life Doctor By Ongoing Delays Anatomy Expert Answers: “Is An Unborn Child A Human Being?” For Jacques De Vos Trial
Please email the Health Professions Council at Legalmed@hpcsa.co.za to ask them to withdraw or substantiate charges against pro-life doctor Jacque De Vos – 2 years overdue from original deadline and five weeks overdue from the date they recently promised.
Health Professions Council Abusing Pro-Life Doctor By Ongoing Delays
There have been a number of mainstream media articles on the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) being late in providing substantiation documents for their charges against pro-life doctor Jacque De Vos, who told a mother considering abortion her unborn baby was a human being. Nevertheless, these articles don’t explain why these delays are unfair and hurt.
A Western Cape Survey found 1/3 of doctors taking a pro-life position like De Vos and a further 1/3 opposing abortion depending on the circumstances (Study by Dr Harvey Ward bit.ly). This trial is thus not just about De Vos rights, but your doctors rights too. There are also many mothers who after seeing their unborn baby born too prematurely to survive after being given an abortion drug, later deeply regretted having the abortion. This is then about the right of mothers to information about their unborn baby from their doctor, which the abortion law in fact says should be given. Last but not least it is about the rights of the unborn child to live.
Firstly, Dr De Vos has completed his medical internship, which the SA Military supervisor doctor refuses to sign off and so he cannot continue his career. Imagine spending 6 years studying at university plus two years of internship and then you are stuck in limbo and can’t carry on for two years waiting indefinitely for charges. By now he could have completed his community service year and spent a year practicing as a fully qualified doctor. If the HPCSA had told him they were going to take 2 years, he could have looked for another job (although lesser paid and outside his chosen career path). Instead, repeated indefinite delays left him unemployed and living off savings for most of the time. This is a major financial cost.
The failure to provide documents mean the legal defence team cannot prepare properly for the upcoming trial, thus prejudicing his right to a fair trial.
Secondly, in terms of their own rules, the HPCSA were supposed to provide substantiation of charges at the start of 2018. Despite repeated requests from De Vos attorney’s they have thus far failed to do so. When the attorneys pointed out the documents were overdue, they then withdrew charges. Nevertheless, when the attorneys demanded that 2 Military hospital sign off for his internship, they then reinstated the vague charges, again without proper documentary substantiation. Thus they got around breaking their own time frame rules, by withdrawing and then reinstating charges. bit.ly In my opinion this is highly irregular, and may be grounds to sue the HPCSA and SANDF to have a court declare the whole process legally invalid and in fact constituting harassment of De Vos. Medical brief news has highlighted the unfairness bit.ly
Thirdly, De Vos personally has a worsening medical condition making it increasingly difficult for him to stand up. Hospital internships and community service require lots of standing, which he was able to do two years ago but no longer. It will be really difficult for him now to find a hospital to give him a community service job which he can do mostly sitting down.
Fourthly, De Vos trial was supposed to have already happened, but the new hearing is set down for 28, 29, 30 October. The fact substantiation Documents have not yet been provided means De Vos legal team cannot prepare properly for the trial which is now three weeks away. International expert witnesses may be needed who would then need to book flights. The HPCSA prosecutor promised substantiation within a week of the last hearing, which is now more than a month overdue, leaving less than a month left to prepare. In proper process the defendants then need to send responding documents to the prosecutor before the trial. This leaves the risk the trial may proceed without proper preparation or be delayed again.
Fifthly, there has been no military disciplinary hearing against Dr De Vosand the South African National Defence Force has not found De Vos guilty of anything. Therefore the vague charges seem to be just a case of two individual doctors (the supervisor and the intern) at 2 Military hospital clashing with opposite views. De Vos was telling the patient the unborn child is a human being and his supervisor doctor found this offensive and so refused to sign him off. Without either the institutional employer supporting the charges and without documentary substantiation, it seems absurd the HPCSA even entertained the charges, let alone letting the case drag on for two years. If the HPCSA had not entertained the vague and unsubstantiated charges, De Vos could have sued to demand he be signed off on the basis of unfair discrimination so he can get credit for the internship he has completed.
These multiple delays bring now the question of whether the HPCSA can actually substantiate charges or if this is just victimisation for his speaking up for his unborn patient and correctly informing the mother of the facts. It seems they cannot provide medical evidence to rebut De Vos claim they the unborn child is a human being. In fact the HPCSA prosecutor has impossible task to prove the unborn baby is not a human being (which the expert testimony of Anatomy lecturer Chris Warton sets out below.
Public Support For Dr De Vos And Dr Warton
- Warton’s article has had almost 400 shares on social media reaching 33,000 people. Numerous medical professionals taught by Dr Warton have come out in his support endorsing his affidavit and saying he was their favorite lecturer at UCT. bit.ly This leaves the HPCSA prosecutor in an embarrassing position.
- The original post about De Vos case got 1500 shares and nearly 300,000 views, as well as making front page of the Cape Times newspaper.
- Petition in support of De Vos to the HPCSA has raised 21,000 signatures so far bit.ly
- A group of Kenyans demonstrated in September against the South African High Commission in Nairobi against the abuse of Dr De Vos, with placards reading ‘Hands off De Vos’. The South African High Commissioner promised to communicate their concerns.
- Pastor Daniel Phaladi bit.ly has been demonstrating outside the HPCSA in Pretoria with a placard reading “Dr De Vos is right. An unborn child is a human being”.
The Health Professions Council of South Africa is one of South Africa’s most respected professional institutions – protecting the public against medical malpractice and opposing attempts to legalise euthanasia. Dr De Vos is on trial for “unprofessional conduct”. Nevertheless, the ongoing delays and way he is being treated by the HPCSA seems unprofessional and abusive – damaging their reputation.
We need to hold the HPCSA prosecutor accountable to fair process by supplying substantiation for the charges or alternatively to admit Dr De Vos is right, the unborn child is a human being.
You can write to HPCSA to express your view to Legalmed@hpcsa.co.za
Date published: 09/10/2019
Feature image: Jacques De Vos
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