oa Southern African Journal of Anaesthesia and Analgesia - Parental refusal : legal and ethical considerations : SASA refresher course text

Volume 21, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2220-1181
  • E-ISSN: 2220-1173



The Children's Act of 2005 was a watershed in establishing the rights of the child in South Africa. This legal document makes provision for the care and protection of children, and defines parental responsibilities and rights. It also defines who is a "parent," and what should be considered when requesting consent for anaesthesia and surgery prior to an operation. Current laws provide a balance of parents' wide discretionary authority in raising their children with the laws to protect children against abuse and neglect. There are two parts to this Act : the Children's Act 38 of 2005 and the Children's Amendment Act 41 of 2007, some of which came into force in 2007, and the associated regulations in 2010. The two acts have now been combined into one, called the Children's Act 38 of 2005 (as amended by Act 41 in 2007).

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