Protection of children by substitute consent: A universal principle and right

Riaan Rheeder


In 2005, the world community and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), comprising 191 member nations, unanimously accepted the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights (UDBHR). This declaration is the first and only bioethical text to which the entire world has committed itself and helps put bioethics on the agenda of states. However, it appears to have had little or no impact in South Africa (SA). This article aims to join UNESCO’s mission and to form part of the social responsibility initiative of teaching the universal right and the ethical principle of proxy consent in the context of medical intervention to promote the UDBHR in SA. We compare the UDBHR and SA Children’s Act No. 38 of 2005. It is clear that the world community sees surrogate consent as the right and duty of all communities

Author's affiliations

Riaan Rheeder, Unit for the Development of Reformed Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

Full Text

PDF (67KB)


UNESCO; proxy consent; medical intervention; children; Human rights

Cite this article

South African Journal of Bioethics and Law 2015;8(2):41-43. DOI:10.7196/SAJBL.441

Article History

Date submitted: 2015-10-12
Date published: 2015-11-26

Article Views

Abstract views: 4368
Full text views: 1507

Comments on this article

*Read our policy for posting comments here