COVID-19: What should employers do if employed health professionals such as doctors and nurses refuse to treat COVID-19 patients despite being provided with the required personal protective equipment?

D J McQuoid-Mason


At some health establishments doctors and nurses employed there are refusing to treat Covid-19 patients - even though they have been provided with the necessary personal protection equipment (PPE). Such conduct would appear to be in breach of the World Medical Association International Code of Medical Ethics , the International Council of Nurses Code of Ethics for Nurses , the Rules of Conduct of the Health Professions Council of South Africa, the South African Nursing Council, some of the provisions of the South African Constitution and of the relevant labour legislation. Guidance is provided to employers on how to deal with the situation based on ethical and legal considerations.

Author's affiliations

D J McQuoid-Mason, University of KwaZulu-Natal

Full Text

PDF (73KB)

Cite this article

South African Journal of Bioethics and Law 2020;13(2):87. DOI:10.7196/SAJBL.2020.v13i2.00733

Article History

Date submitted: 2020-12-15
Date published: 2020-12-15

Article Views

Abstract views: 6831
Full text views: 1558

Comments on this article

*Read our policy for posting comments here