In Practice

An imaginary legal conundrum: A reply to the response by Mahomed, Nöthling-Slabbert and Pepper

D Jordaan


In their original article on the subject of research using human biological material, Mahomed, Nöthling-Slabbert and Pepper advanced the notion that the law regarding ownership of human biological material is uncertain, and proposed that our country’s healthcare policy of altruism be changed to mandatory profit-sharing by research participants. In my critique article, I took issue with the notion that the relevant law is uncertain, and suggested that Mahomed et al. failed to present a convincing argument in support of the proposed policy change from altruism to profit-sharing. In their response to my critique article, Mahomed et al. persist with the notion that the relevant law is uncertain; I suggest that this notion is erroneous, as our common law in this regard is well established, and as the authors base their argument exclusively on foreign case law. The authors further fail to make use of the opportunity to augment their argument in support of their proposed policy change from altruism to profit-sharing – in fact, they contradict themselves by disavowing their proposed policy change.

Author's affiliations

D Jordaan, School of Law, Howard College, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban

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Human biological material; Altruism; Benefit-sharing; Profit-sharing

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2017;107(3):199-200. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2017.v107i3.12337

Article History

Date submitted: 2017-02-27
Date published: 2017-02-27

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