Africa?s socio-political and medico-legal landscapes have dramatically changed since 1994 with the dawn of democracy and peaceful transition from apartheid South Africa to a Constitutional democracy, and the birth of the democratic South Africa. Considerable social progress has been made towards reversing the discriminatory practices that prevailed in most, if not all, aspects of life before 1994. The dawn of democracy brought with it changes in the healthcare policy and design andmade it to almost become intuitive to think that human rights, equality and access to healthcare should be entitlements we should all enjoy, without exceptions, prejudice, fear or favour. But this has not been without challenges especially with regards to access to healthcare, health privilege, equality, distributive justice and medical ethics.Our healthcare system has evidently continued to be marked with the inequalities, poor service delivery and lack of resources, corruption, prejudice and reversal of fortunes. Majority of people, especially Blacks and Coloureds in South Africa are still underserved and disadvantaged compared with their White and Asian counterparts. Arguably, there also have been increasing tensions in the medico-legal space, especially in the sphere of access to health care, health provision and management, quality of health care, medical malpractice and negligence, and medical research, experimentation and bio-ethics. At the same breath, and despite government commitment to equal medical care for all, regardless of financial or political considerations, the quality and accessibility of health services in South Africa are, in some instances, still dependent on the ability to afford, socio-political standing, political connectedness or status. It is not uncommon for some persons to get more attentive, responsive, and reputedly, competent health and medical care than it is available to general public and the majority. For celebrities, the rich or high-ranking officials, preferential treatment is still routinely provided and there still seem to be imposition of politics and ideology on the practice of medicine and ethics. This paper thus intends to explore the other ugly heads that have since surfaced with the dawn of democracy in the sphere of medical ethics and law.
Mini Dissertation (MPhil)--University of Pretoria, 2016.