Human tissue and organ transplant provisions: Chapter 8 of the National Health Act and its Regulations, in effect from March 2012 – what doctors must know

David McQuoid-Mason


Where provisions that were in the Human Tissue Act have been left out of the National Health Act they have been included in its regulations. However, new provisions in the latter Act provide strict controls for the transplantation of organs into non-South African citizens or non-permanent residents, and outlaw the charging of fees for human organs. The provisions also expand the list of persons who can give consent to donations from deceased persons to include ‘partners’, who now take precedence over all other relatives except spouses. Some of the matters in the Human Tissue Act that were not covered by the National Health Act have now been included in the regulations, such as: (i) the parties responsible for determining death of a person whose organs are to be removed for transplantation purposes; (ii) the requirement that tissue must be harvested within 24 hours from donated bodies; (iii) the removal of eye tissue; (iv) the exclusivity of rights in respect of tissue donations; and (v) confidentiality and publicity regarding tissue and organ transplants.

Author's affiliations

David McQuoid-Mason, Professor of Law, Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban

Full Text



National Health Act, tissue, organs, blood, gametes, donations

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2012;102(9):733-735.

Article History

Date submitted: 2012-06-05
Date published: 2012-06-28

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