Stem cell research - the regulatory framework in South Africa

Sandra Sithole


The medical industry has, over the past couple of decades, seen remarkable development in the use of stem cells for therapeutic and research purposes. This is despite opposition from various radical groups, who argue, specifically in relation to the use of embryonic stem cells, that such use involves the creation, use and destruction of stem cells, which is unethical and tantamount to murder.
In South Africa, chapter 8 of the National Health Act, which deals with, among others, the use of stem cells, is not yet in operation. This means that we have to rely on the provisions of the Human Tissues Act which are for the most part outdated in so far as they do not take into account the development relating to stem cell research.
This paper discusses the current regulatory framework of stem cell research with specific reference to the provisions of the Human Tissues Act, 1983 and the National Health Act, 2003.

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Cite this article

South African Journal of Bioethics and Law 2011;4(2):55.

Article History

Date submitted: 2011-11-10
Date published: 2011-12-15

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