This study explores the doctrine of informed consent and its application in South
African medical law. The advent of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa,
1996, introduced democracy and human rights, specifically the rights to human
dignity, privacy, and freedom and security of the person, amongst others. As a result
of a recognition of these rights, together with corresponding changes in the doctorpatient relationship which increasingly leans towards the patient as a consumer of
medical services, consent has become a significant part of the doctor-patient
It is unequivocally stated in South African legislation that consent is a prerequisite for
the provision of health care services; however, the application of this is not clear,
specifically the extent of the disclosure of information that is needed and the duty
placed on the doctor to provide information.
The study, therefore, explores relevant authority concerning informed consent and
the standards of disclosure in South African law and reviews, in particular court
precedent on knowledge as a prerequisite to lawful consent. The study aims to
discuss the question whether consent can ever be fully informed, and if the foregoing
is possible, whether this is possible in a South African context.
Mini Dissertation (MPhil)--University of Pretoria, 2019.