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- Volume 6, Issue 1, 2013
South African Journal of Bioethics and Law - Volume 6, Issue 1, 2013
Volume 6, Issue 1, 2013
Author Ames DhaiSource: South African Journal of Bioethics and Law 6, pp 2 –3 (2013)More Less
On 16 April 2013, the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) announced its withdrawal from its participation in the Africa Health Exhibition, which had been scheduled to be held between 7 and 9 May in Johannesburg. The HPCSA stated that it had made this decision after thoughtful consideration and deliberation,and in support of the growing dissatisfaction amongst healthcare practitioners with the manner in which the detention of Professor Cyril Karabus had been handled in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Africa Health Conference was organised by Informa Life Sciences Exhibitions, which has its headquarters in Dubai (UAE). Karabus (78) is a paediatric oncologist who gave many years of his life, and continues selflessly giving of himself and his expertise, to sick children in the country and further afield
Source: South African Journal of Bioethics and Law 6, pp 4 –5 (2013)More Less
The manner in which the 'case' against Professor Cyril Karabus, a South African paediatric oncologist, was conducted in the United Arab Emirates was a travesty of justice. It drew not only worldwide protests and condemnation, but also public commentary that questioned the ethical conduct of medical doctors and healthcare organisations which boycotted the African Health Conference, in a matter some considered to be purely political.
Source: South African Journal of Bioethics and Law 6, pp 6 –9 (2013)More Less
In this paper we hope to define social conscience and how it might apply in a healthcare context. We discuss how social problems affect one's health. Where does one draw the line in bearing the responsibility of acting on their social conscience and what level of engagement is appropriate or enough? Are healthcare professionals required to have a social conscience, and if so must they take action regarding the failures of the healthcare system and its social impact? Ethical issues seldom have a definitive answer. However, by exploring different opinions we begin to understand our own social conscience and those of others, which helps us identify common values, visions and goals, bringing us closer to initiating societal change.
Decriminalisation of consensual sexual conduct between children : what should doctors do regarding the reporting of sexual offences under the Sexual Offences Act until the Constitutional Court confirms the judgement of the Teddy Bear Clinic case? : forumAuthor D.J. McQuoid-MasonSource: South African Journal of Bioethics and Law 6, pp 10 –12 (2013)More Less
In the Teddy Bear Clinic case, the High Court declared some sections of the Sexual Offences Act unconstitutional, a decision which is still to be confirmed by the Constitutional Court. However, until the Constitutional Court pronounces on the matter, doctors faced with child patients who have been involved in 'consensual sexual penetration' or 'consensual sexual violations' with other children would be fully justified in not reporting such conduct to the authorities because (i) the High Court has judged the criminalisation of such conduct as unconstitutional,which is likely to be upheld by the Constitutional Court; and (ii) there is no duty to report consensual sexual activities involving children if this would violate the constitutional 'best interests of the child' principle.
The South African clinical trial industry: Implications of problems with the issuing of human tissue export permits : forumSource: South African Journal of Bioethics and Law 6, pp 13 –15 (2013)More Less
The National Health Act requires a valid permit before human biological tissue samples are exported from South Africa. However, delays in issuing export permits make it difficult for many researchers and pharmaceutical companies to comply. There are misconceptions about who is responsible for obtaining such a permit. Delays have caused many new trials to start without a permit, and biological samples from ongoing trials have been exported using expired permits. This could have detrimental consequences for the South African trial industry, especially with the country's history of vulnerable populations in developing areas. Medicine Control Council inspections have listed findings related to export permits for several trial sites. Researchers must be aware that it remains their responsibility to apply for such a permit. The most important steps to ensure a smoother approval process are for applicants to (i) familiarise themselves with the permit issue process and (ii) recognise the importance of correctly completing and signing application forms.
Source: South African Journal of Bioethics and Law 6, pp 16 –20 (2013)More Less
The ownership of tissue samples donated for medical research is an ongoing subject of dispute. Some advocates assert that patients have ongoing ownership rights in their tissues, including an unfettered right to determine what happens to their tissue sample. Researchers argue that giving patients property rights in their samples will turn the human body and body parts into a commodity and bring research to a halt.The question of the human body as property involves complex and philosophical dimensions. The law displays an uneasiness in making sense of the human body in the context of ownership and property, as the notion of owning oneself (and one's tissues) implies that persons are able to objectify their selves, and in the process become susceptible to objectification by others. The creation of commercial products from human tissue has generated very difficult legal and ethical questions that have no clear, universally accepted answers.
Author L. HornSource: South African Journal of Bioethics and Law 6, pp 21 –24 (2013)More Less
As reports of research misconduct seem to increase, research integrity and the promotion of responsible research conduct are important for academic institutions. This paper considers what research integrity means for individual researchers and institutions, and explores trends for promoting responsible research conduct. An Aristotelian concept of 'the good' is used to consider the difference between 'good' and 'successful' researchers. I argue that a balance is required between advancing an ethics of individual responsibility on the one hand, and a compliance-focused approach on the other. I discuss institutional strategies for promoting responsible research conduct, including training and mentorship, developing an appropriate institutional culture that emphasises individual responsibility and accountability, and ensuring that institutions have clear, easily accessible policies available for all aspects of research.
Source: South African Journal of Bioethics and Law 6, pp 25 –27 (2013)More Less
This article explores issues relating to discrimination against persons living with albinism, against the background of colour discrimination. It also addresses calls for 'colourism' to be recognised as a distinct form of discrimination. Although colour as grounds for discrimination is prohibited in the equality clause of the Constitution, it is conventionally grouped with race and ethnicity when unfair discrimination is interpreted. We argue that discrimination against persons living with albinism should be possible based on colour as a prohibited ground, independent from race or ethnic considerations.
Source: South African Journal of Bioethics and Law 6, pp 28 –31 (2013)More Less
This article concerns the development of a framework for the formation of an adequate approach to moral reasoning in bioethics. Bioethics has largely been dominated by the influence of two approaches to moral reasoning, viz. utilitarianism and Kantian deontology. We aim to develop an approach to moral reasoning that we find more suitable, and that enables one to incorporate some of the valuable aspects of the two frameworks without succumbing to their deficiencies. This approach is the ethics of responsibility, as inspired by the work of Emmanuel Levinas, Zygmunt Bauman and Hans Jonas. The two central ideas of this approach are (i) the ethics of responsibility as an approach that accommodates the possibility of failure; and (ii) that the ethics of responsibility suggests the need for a dialectic of norms and applications that can, in principle, overcome some of the most serious shortcomings of utilitarianism and deontology.
In this regard we draw strongly on Aristotle's notion of practical wisdom, or phronesis. We further develop Aristotle's statement that 'Prudence is not concerned with universals only; it must also take cognisance of particulars, because it is concerned with conduct, and conduct has its sphere in particular circumstances.'
Author K.G. BehrensSource: South African Journal of Bioethics and Law 6, pp 32 –35 (2013)More Less
In response to a perceived moral crisis in South Africa and Africa, I argue that there is a need to seek ways to restore the dignity of the people of Africa, whose values, beliefs and cultures were denigrated in the past. One way is for African bioethicists to begin to apply indigenous African philosophy, thought and values to ethical issues. This project is important (i) to restore dignity; (ii) because a bioethics grounded in indigenous ideas is more likely to be accepted by Africans; and (iii) because such ideas can enrich bioethical discourse. Highlighting the central importance of relationality, community and harmonious relationships in African thought, I conclude that we should adopt a revised version of principlism that incorporates these salient African moral conceptions.
Source: South African Journal of Bioethics and Law 6, pp 37 –38 (2013)More Less
Doctors today have to practise medicine in an increasingly hostile, pressurised and uncertain healthcare environment. The cost of clinical negligence continuesto rise in South Africa (SA) with increases in both thenumber and value of claims; increases so significant thatsome specialties have been left questioning whether they should even continue to practise.
Others have adopted a more defensive approach to try to safeguard themselves against the risk of claims.