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

Chapter 2 : Rights and Duties of Users and Health Care Personnel

7. Consent of user


(1) Subject to section 8, a health service may not be provided to a user without the user’s informed consent, unless—
(a) the user is unable to give informed consent and such consent is given by a person—
(i) mandated by the user in writing to grant consent on his or her behalf; or
(ii) authorised to give such consent in terms of any law or court order;
(b) the user is unable to give informed consent and no person is mandated or authorised to give such consent, and the consent is given by the spouse or partner of the user or, in the absence of such spouse or partner, a parent, grandparent, an adult child or a brother or a sister of the user, in the specific order as listed;
(c) the provision of a health service without informed consent is authorised in terms of any law or a court order;
(d) failure to treat the user, or group of people which includes the user, will result in a serious risk to public health; or
(e) any delay in the provision of the health service to the user might result in his or her death or irreversible damage to his or her health and the user has not expressly, impliedly or by conduct refused that service.


(2) A health care provider must take all reasonable steps to obtain the user’s informed consent.


(3) For the purposes of this section "informed consent" means consent for the provision of a specified health service given by a person with legal capacity to do so and who has been informed as contemplated in section 6.