National Health Act, 2003, Chapter 2: Sections 6, 7 and 8: Rights and Duties of Users and Health Care Personnel
6. User to have full knowledge
- 1. Every health care provider must inform a user of:
a) the user’s health status except in circumstances where there is substantial evidence that the disclosure of the user’s health status would be contrary to thebest interests of the user
b) the range of diagnostic procedures and treatment options generally available to the user;
c) the benefits, risks, costs and consequences generally associated with each option; and
d) the user’s right to refuse health services and explain the implications, risks, obligations of such refusal.
- 2. The health care provider concerned must, where possible, inform the user as contemplated in subsection (1) in a language that the user understands and in a manner which takes into account the user’s level of literacy.
7. Consent of user
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.
A health care provider must take all reasonable steps to obtain the user’s informed consent.
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.
8. Participation in decisions
1. A user has the right to participate in any decision affecting his or her personal health and treatment.
2a. If the informed consent required by section 7 is given by a person other than the user: such person must, if possible, consult the user before giving the required consent.
2b. A user who is capable of understanding must be informed as contemplated in section 6 even if he or she lacks the legal capacity to give the informed consent required by section 7.
3. If a user is unable to participate in a decision affecting his or her personal health and treatment, he or she must be informed as contemplated in section 6 after the provision of the health service in question unless the disclosure of such information would be contrary to the user‘s best interest.