The legal team for pro-life doctor Jacques De Vos, 32, have called on the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) to drop unprofessional conduct charges against him ahead of his disciplinary hearing set for October 28 to 30 in Cape Town.
In a letter to the HPCSA, De Wet Wepener Attorneys say the council’s failure to timeously provide information required — and repeatedly requested — for De Vos’s defence, have made it impossible to have a fair hearing on the set dates.
Furthermore, it would be unfair to delay the matter beyond the end of the month, they say in the letter dated October 9.
De Vos’s medical career has been on hold for two years since he was reported to the HPCSA for advising a patient at 2 Miltary Hospital, Cape Town, where he was doing his internship, that unborn children are human beings. Although the young doctor completed his intern work, his internship has not been signed off pending the outcome of the disciplinary inquiry.
According to Doctors for Life International (DFL), the HPCSA’s failure to provide basic information required by the defence has been holding up the hearing since April 2018. In August last year the HPCSA dropped charges against De Vos, when pressed for information — only to replace them with completely news charges.
A hearing set for August 27 this year was postponed and the HPCSA undertook to provide requested information by August 30 and the hearing was postponed to October 3. The information was not provided on time and the hearing was rescheduled again, to October 28.
De Vos is a member of DFL, which has been assisting his defence by providing expert medical witnesses. In a statement released yesterday, DFL says claims that the HPCSA prosecutor has finally provided all of the information requested by the defence are false.
Extreme delays in the hearing caused by the HPCSA have rendered the hearing unfair and “Doctors For Life joins the calls of thousands of people who are now calling on the HPCSA to drop the charges and to stop the grossly unjust treatment of Dr De Vos,” says the statement.