Most South Africans die without their organs being harvested for transplantation. In a country where motor vehicle accidents or violent crime are often the cause of death, presumably leaving most of the organs fit for transplantation, it is astounding that the offer of organs doesn’t meet the demand. The aim of this dissertation is to find a practical solution for the current shortage of transplantable human organs in South Africa. This is achieved by critically discussing current South African legislation regulating organ transplantation, considering alternative organ procurement methods, as well as the impact that bioethics and the Constitution might have on the success of an organ procurement system. This dissertation is concluded with the realisation that although the current organ procurement method needs to be changed to required request, relieving the organ shortage will only be achieved by combining several proposed legislative changes, including, but not limited to, creating a national donor as well as a national waiting list; launching an educational campaign; limiting the role of relatives; and expanding the definition of death for the purpose of organ harvesting.
KEY TERMS: organ procurement methods; National Health Act; Constitution; organ shortage; bioethics; autonomy; dignity; required request.