Autonomy in organ donations v family consent: a South African legislative context

Autonomy in organ donations v family consent: a South African legislative context
Magda Slabbert, Bonnie Venter
De Jure Law Journal, 2019
Open Access
Summary
The lack of availability of transplantable donor organs remains the main obstacle to improving organ donation rates on a global level. The purpose of this article is to investigate the role of family consent in the donation process from a legal perspective. The question is posed whether family members should be approached to provide consent for deceased organ donation or whether the right to self-determination of the deceased should be honoured. The article analyses Chapter 8 of the National Health Act 61 of 2003 to determine the current legal position with regard to consent in the organ donation process. It is concluded that due to the continued stagnant state of the availability of donor organs in South Africa, at the very least appropriate, valid consent should not be nullified by a relative’s objection.

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