Partial relief from the regulatory vacuum involving human tissues through enactment of chapter 8 of the National Health Act and regulations thereto

Michael S Pepper


Human tissue legislation is complex. An exhaustive understanding of the law, thorough understanding of human tissue biology and pathophysiology and an appreciation of the diversity of the areas covered in this field, is critical. The importance of interdisciplinary co-operation in the drafting, interpretation and implementation of legislation in this area cannot be overemphasised. Several factors underscore this, including the complexity and volume of the information involved, rapid advances in science, reciprocal dependence of the law and science on one another for relevance and accuracy, and above all the need to ensure that the patient’s well-being and safety are not compromised. The development of technology also must be encouraged in a non-obstructive legislative setting.

Author's affiliations

Michael S Pepper, Department of Immunology, Faculty of Health Sciences, and Director of the Institute for Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Pretoria; and Department of Genetic Medicine and Development, Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, Switzerland

Full Text



Human tissue, legislation, stem cells

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2012;102(9):736-737.

Article History

Date submitted: 2012-04-19
Date published: 2012-06-28

Article Views

Abstract views: 1848
Full text views: 3938

Comments on this article

*Read our policy for posting comments here