After almost five years of being barred from practicing medicine, pro-life doctor Jacques de Vos has been allowed by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) 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 view that the unborn child is a human being.
Following years of delays, the HPCSA finally withdrew the charges against De Vos in September 2020. 2 Military Hospital, however, still refused to sign off his internship, citing his “refusal to comply with basic medical ethics” (referring to his medical views on the humanity of the unborn child), says Doctors for Life (DFL), which together with various attorneys and advocates have been supporting him in his long fight for justice. Their combined efforts paid off when the HPCSA relented on 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,” says DFA in a statement.
De Vos’s attorney, Martus de Wet, told Gateway News they are waiting for judgment in their application to the Pretoria High Court to review and set aside the HPCSA’s decision to refuse to reconvene the professional conduct hearing against him which stopped after they withdrew charges against him. During the hearing expert witnesses brought by DFL presented evidence that the unborn baby is human. The expert evidence was not challenged and should the hearing resume the outcome could result in legal precedent being set on the status of an unborn baby.
De Wet said that De Vos’s options are open to sue for damages.
Gateway News is attempting to get a comment from De Vos on his belated goahead to pursue his career.
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