This book dabbles in how that act of mercy-killing snowballed into unflattering celebrity status, with incidents of death threats.
In many countries, South Africa included, mercy-inspired assisted death is murder. Davison has at least three murders on the charge sheet he must answer to and they all carry a life sentence.
In the eyes of the law, and to many who are ambivalent about their loved ones’ humiliation (with no agency to end their misery), Davison, and his organization DignitySA, are villains.
In all that, Davison manages to paint a rare community of mostly white people who had a good life before terminal illness hit and wish to die with some semblance of dignity. On this score, his cause and rare activism are compelling.
He closes the book with this movingly selfless attitude: “The death of my mother opened a whole new world of suffering … I have had to deal with constant requests for assistance to die … [such that] the thought of being free of the pain and anxiety, even while imprisoned, has a certain sense of liberation.”