In Practice

Amendments to the Sexual Offences Act dealing with consensual underage sex: Implications for doctors and researchers

Suhayfa Bhamjee, Zaynab Essack, Ann Elaine Strode

Abstract


In terms of the Sexual Offences and Related Matters Amendment Act, consensual sex or sexual activity with children aged 12 - 15 was a crime, and as such had to be reported to the police. This was challenged in court in the Teddy Bear case, which held that it was unconstitutional and caused more harm than good. In June 2015, the Amendment Act was accepted by both the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces, and came into operation on the 3 July 2015. This article looks at the amendments to sections 15 and 16 of the Act and what the reporting obligations for medical professionals and researchers are in light of the amendments, as well as the duty to provide medical services and advice to adolescents.


Authors' affiliations

Suhayfa Bhamjee, School of Law, University of KwaZulu-Natal (Pietermaritzburg), South Africa; HIV/AIDS Vaccines Ethics Group, University of KwaZulu-Natal (Pietermaritzburg), South Africa

Zaynab Essack, Human Sciences Research Council, South Africa; School of Law, University of KwaZulu-Natal (Pietermaritzburg), South Africa; HIV/AIDS Vaccines Ethics Group, University of KwaZulu-Natal (Pietermaritzburg), South Africa

Ann Elaine Strode, School of Law, University of KwaZulu-Natal (Pietermaritzburg), South Africa; HIV/AIDS Vaccines Ethics Group, University of KwaZulu-Natal (Pietermaritzburg), South Africa

Full Text

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Keywords

Underage sex; Children; Mandatory reporting

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2016;106(3):256-259. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2016.v106i3.9877

Article History

Date submitted: 2015-07-05
Date published: 2016-02-02

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