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Health Care & Social

Why 118 Life Esidimeni patients died – ombud

The fear of challenging authority, coupled with the reluctance to take accountability, is what led to the deaths of 118 patients under the care of the Gauteng provincial government. This is according to Health Ombudsman Malegapuru William Makgoba, who was the first witness to present evidence to an arbitration committee set up to probe the deaths of the patients, notes a Business Day report.

Do You Need an “Advance Directive” or a “Living Will”?

By Ashersons Attorneys Published on Friday, 29 September 2017
Estate Planning & Trusts Health Care & Social
If you don’t want to be kept artificially alive – without your consent and perhaps in pain and distress – long after your medical condition becomes hopeless, you need to communicate your decision now to the doctors, hospitals and loved ones who will be caring for you at the end.

Terminally ill pair in new bid to legalise euthanasia

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Tuesday, 19 September 2017
Civil Rights Health Care & Social Litigation
A medical doctor and one of her patients have filed a combined application in the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) requesting the court to legalise euthanasia. A Beeld report notes that Dr Sue Walter (43) – a specialist in palliative care – and patient Dieter Harck (68) are both terminally ill with cancer and motor-neuron disease respectively.

KZN feeding scheme case struck from roll

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Thursday, 03 August 2017
Education Law Health Care & Social Litigation
It is not a question of whether the school children will be fed, but of who will feed the school children and derive the profit therefrom.’ The Mercury reports this is how the KZN Department of Education has – in court papers – described the case against its ‘corrupt’ awarding of a R1.4bn tender for the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) in the province.

Mandela's medical information is 'sacrosanct'

Any patient-related information within the doctor-patient relationship is sacrosanct, and must be respected, even after death. A Cape Times report says the SA Medical Association (Sama) said this following the release – and subsequent withdrawal – of a book detailing the last days of former President Nelson Mandela. The book was written by former SANDF surgeon-general Dr Vejay Ramlakan, who was part of the medical team treating Mandela in the months before his death.

Mandela book withdrawn following legal threats

Penguin Random House SA acted swiftly yesterday to withdraw Dr Vejay Ramlakan’s book as legal action looms. The Star reports this came after the executors of Nelson Mandela’s estate – Justice Dikgang Moseneke, Advocate George Bizos and Judge Themba Sangoni – stepped in to consider laying a complaint with the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) and the SANDF.

Widow threatens to sue over doctor's Mandela book

Former President Nelson Mandela’s widow, Graça Machel, has threatened to sue Mandela’s doctor Vejay Ramlakan over his newly released book, Mandela’s Last Years, according to a City Press report. Ramlakan reportedly details Mandela’s last years, including intimate moments prior to his death. Machel has slammed the book, saying it is degrading and tarnishes the image of the struggle icon.

Father barred from smoking in front of children

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Thursday, 13 July 2017
Family Law Health Care & Social Litigation
In an unusual case, a father has been barred from smoking in front of his children. According to a Beeld report, the father brought an urgent application before the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) to force his estranged wife to place their children in his care until 23 July. The couple’s eldest child has a physical disability and the father told the court that he wanted to contribute to the specialised care the child needs, but the mother was refusing to allow the children to stay with him.

Doctors accuse medical aid schemes of spying

Doctors have accused SA’s biggest medical aid schemes of spying on them and sneaking hidden cameras into their consulting rooms. The healthcare practitioners also claim the schemes are guilty of withholding payment from doctors without proof of misconduct. A Sunday Times report says these claims are contained in documents filed in the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) by the National Healthcare Professionals Association, in a claim against 19 medical aid schemes.

Deductions can be made from grants accounts

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Wednesday, 10 May 2017
Health Care & Social Litigation
The Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) ruled yesterday that deductions can be made from the bank accounts of social grant beneficiaries held with Grindrod. Net1 UEPS Technologies, the holding company for CPS, which administers the payment of social grants, approached the court for a declaratory order regarding the government’s decision to limit direct deductions from beneficiaries’ accounts, notes a BusinessLIVE report.

Parliament has final word on landmark dagga ruling

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Monday, 03 April 2017
Civil Rights Health Care & Social
Parliament has announced it has to wait until the Constitutional Court has confirmed the Western Cape High Court's landmark judgment on private dagga use before it can make any changes to the law, notes a News24 report. ‘If the two laws mentioned (the Drug Trafficking Act and the Medicines Control Act) have been found to be unconstitutional, then the Constitutional Court would have to confirm the judgment before Parliament can act,’ a spokesperson said.

Group challenges law covering foetus burial

Parents who lose a foetus younger than 26 weeks do not have the right to bury or cremate the remains – but that could change. A Pretoria News says the remains are regarded as medical waste and accordingly disposed of by a hospital. However, the question on what should to happen to the remains of a foetus due to pregnancy loss at 26 weeks or earlier is now due to form the subject of a legal battle.

Big pharmaceuticals don’t want dagga legalised

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Thursday, 23 February 2017
Health Care & Social Litigation
While marijuana support groups have welcomed the green light given by the government for the manufacture of cannabis for medicinal use, they have criticised the proposed guidelines attached to its usage. A Cape Argus report says the suggested framework would allow cannabis for medicinal purposes, but under strict regulations.

Sheriff seizes vehicles to settle R17m health lawsuit

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Friday, 17 February 2017
Health Care & Social Litigation
The sheriff has seized several cars belonging to the Eastern Cape Health Department, which owes a woman almost R17m in damages for medical negligence, says a Daily Dispatch report. The department yesterday vowed it would – by the end of this week – settle the outstanding amount to the mother whose child suffers from severe cerebral palsy due to medical negligence on the part of department officials.

SCA erred on medical savings, ConCourt told

The SCA incorrectly interpreted the Medical Schemes Act when it concluded that funds in a personal medical savings account could not be treated as both an asset and trust property of a member, Genesis Medical Scheme’s Advocate Schalk Burger told the Constitutional Court yesterday.

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