Two of four charges dropped against doctor accused of unprofessional conduct for telling pregnant woman abortion kills a human being

By Dave Andrusko

Jacques de Vos, centre, flanked by attorney Martus de Wet, advocate Keith Matthee and father Phillip de Vos (cream jacket) at the Health Professions Council of SA hearing on August 27 2019. Image: Sipokazi Fokazi

It’s a start, but two of four charges still remain against a South African physician for unprofessional conduct for telling a pregnant woman in 2017 that abortion “kills a human being.”

Jacques De Vos has been prohibited from practising medicine pending the outcome of the six-member Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) Health Professions Council of SA hearing, according to Independent Online (IOL), a news and information website based in South Africa.

It came out in hearings earlier this year “that De Vos was only a week short of finishing his medical degree before he did his community service,” Sowetan Live reported.

IOL reported that the Council set aside Charges 3 and 4 against de Vos.

Charge 3, IOL reported, accused DeVos “of distributing pamphlets that imposed his religious beliefs at the hospital on colleagues, patients and members of the public, while also attempting to influence his colleagues to adopt his views by sending them text messages.”

Charge 4 accused De Vos “of failing to remain objective when advocating for contraceptives and not having acted in a patient’s best interest.” De Vos’s legal team, “led by senior counsel Keith Matthee, had argued that the charges were unlawful and vague,” according to reporter Mwangi Githahu.

The public hearing in Cape Town will resume on Monday where Charges 1 and 2 will be addressed. Githahu wrote that the first charge, “is that of dissuading a patient from terminating her pregnancy in 2016 when he was at 2 Military Hospital in Wynberg,” and the second charge, “accuses him of failing to respect the patient’s autonomy. “

De Vos is a member of the international pro-life organization Doctors For Life International (DFL).