The thesis investigates the place and role of medical professionals in armed conflict and focuses specifically on the case in South Africa of Dr Wouter Basson. The thesis traces the role of medical professionals in armed conflict from early Roman civilisations until after World War II, and outlines medical health service in South Africa after World War II.
The ethical and legal obligations of medical professionals during armed conflict are discussed, together with a brief overview of the Nuremberg Doctor’s Trial. This is done in order to highlight the international legal and ethical frameworks within which medical professionals operate in situations of armed conflict.
Dr Wouter Basson and Project Coast are selected to serve as a case study. The circumstances under which Dr Basson operated as well as the national and international law elements of Project Coast are canvassed. Dr Basson’s criminal trial, his subsequent appeals as well as his disciplinary hearing before the Health Professions Council of South Africa are scrutinised. South African constitutional law, as well as the HPCSA’s Guidelines for Good Practice in the Health Care Professions as they apply to the case study are examined. The thesis concludes by offering answers to the research questions and proposing a number of recommendations.
Mini Dissertation (LLM)--University of Pretoria, 2019.