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Medico-Legal Analysis

The law and medical xenophobia in South Africa

South Africa’s Constitution says the most basic forms of healthcare should be accessible to all who live in the country. However, this is not...

Murder, euthanasia or a doctor’s discretion in pain management?

A fortnight ago a highly regarded US doctor was acquitted of 14 murder charges arising from dozens of fatal fentanyl overdoses of ICU patients...

Medical error and ‘chilling’ conviction of US nurse for criminally negligent homicide

The recent conviction of US ICU nurse RaDonda Vaught of criminally negligent homicide and gross neglect of an impaired adult continues to spark debate...

SA doctors victimised in a ‘public drama’ for perceived medical errors

South African doctors are “far too often” victimised for perceived medical errors in a publicly played out drama, says Prof Gert Saayman, former head...

‘Misconception’ that reproductive cell donation in SA demands anonymity

South African gamete banks and donation agencies do not offer open-identity donors, because they believe – mistakenly – that donor anonymity is a legal...

End of State of Disaster doesn’t mean and end to workplace vaccine mandates

Workplace vaccination mandates remain legal, despite the national State of Disaster now being behind us, write practitioners at Bowmans. Chloё Loubser and Talita Laubscher write...

Notifiable Medical Conditions amendments are ‘poorly drafted’ and ‘Orwellian’

A badly written amendment to the Notifiable Medical Conditions regulations will normalise a permanent totalitarian healthcare state, writes columnist Ivo Vegter, in Daily Friend. As...

No-fault and no-claim provisions in amended vaccine-injury Compensation Scheme

Writing about the government’s no-fault Compensation Scheme for vaccine injuries in MedicalBrief last year (12 May), Donald Dinnie, a director of Norton Rose Fulbright...

Every sector presenting on NHI Bill warned of the dangers of corruption

Every single sector that presented during the public hearings on the the National Health Insurance Bill expressed concerns over corruption, found an analysis by...

Ivermectin: When desperate patients litigate for unproven treatments

When it comes to Ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment, and litigation enforcing hospitals to administer it, doctors have a duty to use their medical...

Small players ‘not considered’ in South African cannabis Bill – Free Market Foundation

President Cyril Ramaphosa is either unaware of his administration’s activities regarding cannabis or was simply using rhetoric when speaking about the industry as a...

US Supreme Court to rule on criminal charges against doctors prescribing in good faith

The issue of criminal prosecution of medical doctors acting in good faith, a matter currently of great concern to South African practitioners, is being...

COVID-19 regulatory contradictions: Employers should take conservative approach

Last week, Jacqui Reed of Herbert Smith Freehills highlighted the workplace legal contradictions that have emerged under the newest COVDI-19 regulations. This week, Michael Bagraim,...

Look to Scotland and New Zealand on criminal liability of doctors, urge experts

South Africa should legislate a higher threshold, as found in the Scottish law and in the New Zealand legal system, to findings of recklessness...

SA employers must weigh implications of conflicting regulations on COVID-19

Under the newest South African regulations, a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 and is asymptomatic is not required to isolate, writes Jacqui...

Why taxing vaping in SA will not help ensure a just tobacco transition

The approach the government in South Africa has taken regarding levying an excise tax on e-cigarettes will threaten the very things its budget ought...

Unpacking South Africa’s medico-legal morass

There is no single process that will address the challenge of improving the quality of care provided in the public healthcare system and reducing...

CCMA again rules in favour of employers over mandatory vaccinations

For the second time in a fortnight, the Council for Conciliation Mediation & Arbitration has ruled that suspending an employee for refusing to be vaccinated...

Canada’s legalisation of cannabis is a success story, despite a shaky first act

There have been growing pains, but early evidence shows that initial concerns about the legalisation of cannabis in Canada have not materialised and the...

Ethical duties demanded of health researchers in South Africa

Being registered as a health practitioner under the Health Professions Act of 1974 confers certain rights and privileges. Corresponding to these rights and privileges are...

Obstetric violence: A war against women waged in the medical shadows

Obstetric violence — violence against pregnant and birth women — is “prevalent and pervasive” in South Africa, despite its lack of recognition by our...

World Rugby’s defence on dementia: ‘It’s about lifestyle choices’

World Rugby, facing growing class action litigation on repetitive brain trauma as the cause of early dementia in professional players, has decided the best...

Lobby group: End the legislative barriers stifling SA's cannabis industry

Since a trade in dagga is a future reality for South Africa, then it stands to reason that this should be fast-tracked without delay...

Failed cerebral palsy appeal illustrates ‘risk of not giving evidence’

An Eastern Cape High Court judgment in a cerebral palsy damages case demonstrates the risk of not giving evidence, as well as the weight attached to...

Mandatory vaccinations may be raised in Equality Court first

Trade unions are concerned about the introduction of mandatory vaccinations, meaning a test case looms that may well start in the Equality Court before...

Mandatory jabs will survive constitutional test, argues Cheadle

The thorny issue of mandatory workplace vaccinations will survive constitutional scrutiny, argues labour and constitutional law expert, Halton Cheadle. Daily Maverick quotes Halton Cheadle as...

Applicants seek to exploit cracks in Jacob Zuma’s medical parole defence

Cracks are being exposed in the “smokescreen” defence of former president Jacob Zuma and his former chief spy, Arthur Fraser, in their battle against...

Advocate warns DoH against ’driving a wedge between children and parents’

As regards allowing children to be vaccinated without parental consent, “it may not be as advisable to drive a wedge between children and their...

Luxembourg first in Europe to legalise cannabis; Canada sees mostly good results

Luxembourg will become the first country in Europe to legalise cannabis, in an effort to tackle the illegal drugs market, writes The Guardian. Meanwhile, the...

The contested terrain of mandating vaccinations at SA universities

SA universities have entered the contested discourse of whether to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for the safe return of students and staff to campuses...

COVID-19 has spurred a litigatory pandemic in US

While US courts have historically been deferential to health orders, especially during disease outbreaks, as the pandemic has progressed, the courts have become more...

Premonitions of the ancestors? The validity of medical certificates from a traditional healer

As long as a traditional healer is certified and registered, his or her medical certificates are recognised, although not for COVID-19, the diagnosis of...

State doctors and the ‘myth of indemnification’ against adverse events

It’s a myth that doctors working in the public sector do not need indemnity and that they are fully indemnified against adverse events by...

Only aspect of Compensation Fund that worked now ‘duplicitously' destroyed

The Compensation for Occupational Injuries & Diseases Amendment Bill debated in Parliament last week is a duplicitous attempt to prevent the “win-win” intercession of...

Employees turn to constitutional protections to avoid mandatory vaccinations

Foreshadowing what’s likely to happen in South Africa, as more US employers move to mandatory vaccination for staff, the vaccine-sceptical are increasingly resorting to...

Meticulous record keeping — a tedious but necessary task

Medical practitioners spent copious amounts on paperwork and administration but it is essential to forestall negligence litigation, says Norton Rose Fulbright’s Natasha Naidoo. The patient...

Meticulous record keeping — a tedious but necessary task

Medical practitioners spent copious amounts on paperwork and administration but it is essential to forestall negligence litigation, says Norton Rose Fulbright’s Natasha Naidoo. The patient...

The long, slow exit of Health Minister Mkhize is over at last

The exit of Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize, who had been on “special leave” since 8 June after allegations of involvement in tender irregularities,...

Government’s veil of silence over Cuban health workers

Rather curiously, given that South Africa has its own fully qualified doctors and nurses needing placement, almost R100m has been spent to import Cuban...

A few disproportionately responsible for SA’s gynaecological medico-legal burden

The disproportionately large contribution of a “small group of practitioners” towards South Africa’s medicolegal burden suggests a need for strengthened peer review and regulatory...