Overturning refusal of a hospital to terminate life support for a brain-dead mother until the fetus was born: What is the law in South Africa?
In a Texas case the court granted a husband an order for the removal of life support from his brain-dead pregnant wife after a hospital tried to keep her on it until the fetus was born. In South Africa the court would have issued a similar order, but for different reasons. Here, unlawfully and intentionally subjecting a pregnant corpse to life-support measures to keep a fetus alive against the wishes of the family would amount to the crime of violating a corpse.
David Jan McQuoid-Mason, Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
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Date published: 2014-06-19
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