Pro-life doctor Jacques de Vos says that the words of Proverbs 24:11 — Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter — explain why he spoke up for an unborn child in 2017 and why he does not regret doing so, despite the high price he has had to pay for speaking up.
De Vos, who in the latest development in a protracted case arising out of his stand for life, has applied to the North Gauteng High Court to compel the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) to finalise their disciplinary hearing against him, explains his personal conviction in a summary of his testimony posted on the Facebook page of UCT Students for Life.
He has been unable to practice medicine since 2017 when he was suspended and charged with unprofessional conduct for allegedly advising a pregnant woman who wanted an abortion that her unborn baby was a human being. Since then his internship, which he had completed, has not been signed off. The HPCSA repeatedly delayed his hearing and in September last year the charges against him were suddenly dropped. But Jacques, who has pleaded not guilty and is ready to state his case, with the backing of expert witnesses in human anatomy and psychiatry, believes he is entitled to an acquittal. De Vos has also been waging a health struggle with a serious venous condition that causes much pain and limits his mobility.
In his testimony to the student group, De Vos says: “Most of you are familiar with my case which is not really a complex one but quite a dramatic one as to how it affected my personal life and career. I want to read verses to you that will explain to you what I stood for and also may encourage others in my position.
“What is good and righteous in the sight of God (the Creator of all life) In Proverbs 24:11 is to rescue those who have been taken away, hold back those who are stumbling. It fits so perfectly the whole abortion battle. The unborn literally taken to the slaughter is the most vulnerable.
“God in His Word speaks about the innocent in society, the widows, etc. and this is one of the verses that encourages me to stand up for the unborn and it got me in a lot of trouble. I never realised that it would affect my life to that extent. But I don’t regret it doing what was right. God must be glorified in the end no matter what it costs us.
“Many Christians and pastors have suffered more than I probably ever will. I just want to encourage people that work in the medical field to take a stand and not compromise at all but to fight for the rights of the unborn.
“To those not in the medical field, you can make your voice heard in many ways through conversations with people, encouraging people to stand up on their principles, and using social media to making your voice heard by speaking the truth against the lie.
“I experienced much animosity. I felt very alone in the stand I was taking. I felt the hate of my superiors and had to work under them. I just so much appreciate it now that my case is open in the air and so many people know about it and reached out to me. I am so grateful for you all and want to thank you for standing with me in the fight. Just again. Thank you for everyone praying and being supportive of me and my legal team.”
In the same Facebook post, Jacques’ attorney, Martus de Wet, respond’s to Jacques’ testimony and shares some impressions on behalf of the legal team.
He says: “Jacques just really shared a small bit of what he went through. It was a very difficult road, and it is not at an end of it yet. I can just give you a very brief outline of where we are with the case. Jacques was suspended not just signed off when he finished his internship.
“His internship endured longer than others because of his physical situation. So he was not signed-off. In June 2017 he finished at 2 Military hospital in Wynberg, Cape Town. Since then he was charged for unprofessional conduct, because it is alleged that he prevented someone from having an abortion, and they said his views that the unborn child is a human being, are unscientific and not evidence-based.
“Jacques suffered this persecution under the authority of the HPCSA. They charged him and delayed the charges. Charges have been withdrawn but all this time Jacques was unable to practice medicine and was supposed to start his career which was still on hold.
“The latest on his case is that in December 2019 he pleaded not guilty and then the hearing was supposed to start in April 2020. April came and nothing happened, they did not go to court. Charges have been withdrawn in September, technically and legally this is not allowed. The only time they can withdraw charges, is before the person pleaded.
“We went to the High Court and we now await a court date. Our goal is to force the HPCSA to finish the hearing and give Jacques the outcome and give his day in court which they denied him thus far. The HPCSA is opposing and they do not want to go back to the hearing.
“He is assisted by two advocates. Advocate Keith Matthee who works on a pro bono basis and also Advocate Andrew Dumany, also a very experienced advocate. Doctors For Life has been carrying the expenses to travel to Cape Town and many people have contributed to that. I don’t know if people know what Jacques has gone through thus far and the fact that he stuck to his guns and the stand that he takes, he does not waver.”