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National Health Act, 2003 (Act No. 61 of 2003)

Chapter 8 : Control of use of blood, blood products, tissue and gametes in humans

67. Removal of tissue at post-mortem examinations and obtaining of tissue by institutions and persons


(a) The Minister may, on the written application of an institution or person requiring tissue for a purpose contemplated in section 64(1), authorise that institution or person, in writing, to obtain such tissue from a medical practitioner contemplated in subsection (3) or a person or an institution contemplated in section 63.
(b) The Minister may impose any condition on the institution or person to which or to whom he or she has granted an authorisation in terms of paragraph (a).
(c) This Act does not prevent persons or institutions from acquiring tissue in terms of the National Heritage Resources Act, 1999 (Act No . 25 of 1999), for the purposes of that Act.


(2) The medical practitioner in charge of clinical services in the hospital or authorised institution or of the mortuary in question, or any other medical practitioner authorised by such practitioner, or, in the case where there is no medical practitioner in charge of clinical services, a medical practitioner authorised by the person in charge of such hospital or authorised institution, may, in writing and in the prescribed manner, authorise—
(a) a prescribed institution or person contemplated in section 63; or
(b) an authorised institution making application therefor in writing,
(c) to remove any specified tissue from the body concerned before burial thereof.


(3) Despite anything to the contrary in any other law, a medical practitioner who conducts a post mortem examination in terms of—
(a) section 3 of the Inquests Act, 1959 (Act No. 58 of 1959); or
(b) section 71(1)(a) or (b),
(c) must remove or cause to be removed from a body such tissue as may be specified in an authorisation under subsection (1) and must hand it over to the institution or person in possession of the authorisation.


(4) The removal contemplated in subsection (3) may not be effected if—
(a) the removal of the tissue is likely to affect the outcome of the examination; or
(b) the body or tissue in question has been donated or if the removal would be contrary to a direction given by the deceased before his or her death.