oa South African Family Practice - Post-birth rituals : ethics and the law : CPD

Volume 50, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 2078-6190
  • E-ISSN: 2078-6204



Placental rituals and other birth-by rituals are common in various societies. These rituals often include culturally determined behavioural sequences which operate as anxiety-releasing mechanisms and they serve to offer a spiritual means of 'control' over the future health and welfare of mother, child, and even the community. As long as such rituals do not cause harm, they should be respected for the role that they play and be left alone. This article discusses ethical and legal considerations regarding post-birth rituals and its relevance to South Africa with special reference to the South African Human Tissue Act.

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