Welcome to the Health Law & Ethics Research Group

We aim to engage in topical health law and ethics research and teaching from a uniquely South African perspective, and to impact on the South African, African, and global health law and ethics landscape.

On an undergraduate level, we present bioethics as an elective to LLB students. On a postgraduate level, we offer a research LLM, and coursework LLM in Medical Law, and a research PhD. Our undergraduate course in bioethics is typically taken by about 100 students every year.

Our main areas of interest are

  • Reproductive law & ethics
  • Children’s rights – research, reproduction
  • New technologies & health care
  • Global Health Research Collaborations
  • End-of-life


Professor Donrich Thaldar

Professor Donrich Thaldar

College Dean of Research (Acting)

Dr Freddy Mnyongani

Dr Freddy Mnyongani

AL Teaching and Learning

Ms Suhayfa Bhamjee

Ms Suhayfa Bhamjee

Senior Lecturer

Postdoctoral Researchers

Associated members

You are welcome to email any one of our Research Group members directly, or email us at Group leader Dr
Dr Donrich Thaldar at  ThaldarD@ukzn.ac.za

 We are always eager to explore possibilities for collaboration, or potential postgraduate projects. 


Access to justiceThaldar, D.W. (2014). Suing anonymously: when is the personal price to pay for justice too high?.  South African Law Journal ,  131 (3), 583-603.
AnimalsMnyongani, F. (2012). The status of animals in African cosmology: A non-legal perspective.  Southern African Public Law ,  27 (1), 88-102.
Basic ethical and legal valuesThaldar, D. W. (2017). The open society: What does it really mean?.  De Jure ,  50 (2), 396-405.
Blood transfusionMnyongani, F (2018). “A Jehovah’s witness’s autonomy versus the interests of her children: Es v AC (SA 57/2012) [2015] NASC 11 (24 June 2015) 2018 (18) THRHR.  Co-authored with Magda Slabbert (forthcoming).
End-of-life issuesThaldar, D. W. (2017). Human dignity and the future of the voluntary active euthanasia debate in South Africa.  South African Medical Journal ,  107 (5), 383-385.
Globalisation Thaldar, D. W. (2016). Cross-Jurisdiction egg donation: A South African Perspective.  Med Law ,  35 , 625-632.
HIV/AIDSBadul, C. J., & Strode, A. (2013). LM and Others v Government of the Republic of Namibia: The first sub-Saharan African case dealing with coerced sterilisations of HIV-positive women-Quo vadis?.  African Human Rights Law Journal ,  13 (1), 01-15.
Essack, Z., & Strode, A. (2012). “I feel like half a woman all the time”: The impacts of coerced and forced sterilisations on HIV-positive women in South Africa.  Agenda ,  26 (2), 24-34.
Strode, A., Mthembu, S., & Essack, Z. (2012). “She made up a choice for me”: 22 HIV-positive women’s experiences of involuntary sterilization in two South African provinces.  Reproductive health matters ,  20 (sup39), 61-69.
HIV/AIDS – Children Sarumi, R. O., & Strode, A. E. (2017). Using International Law to Protect Children Affected by HIV/AIDS in South Africa–An Audit of HIV/AIDS-Specific International Standards Relevant to Children Affected by HIV/AIDS.  African Journal of International and Comparative Law ,  25 (1), 114-126.
van Rooyen, H. E., Strode, A. E., & Slack, C. M. (2016). HIV testing of children is not simple for health providers and researchers: Legal and policy frameworks guidance in South Africa.  SAMJ: South African Medical Journal ,  106 (5), 451-453.
Busza, J., Strode, A., Dauya, E., & Ferrand, R. A. (2016). Falling through the gaps: how should HIV programmes respond to families that persistently deny treatment to children?.  Journal of the International AIDS Society ,  19 (1), 20789.
Sarumi, R. O., & Strode, A. E. (2015). New law on HIV testing in Botswana: The implications for healthcare professionals.  Southern African journal of HIV medicine ,  16 (1), 1-4.
Informed consentBadul, C. J., Strode, A., & Singh, P. P. (2018). Obtaining informed consent for a sterilisation in the light of recent case law.  SAMJ: South African Medical Journal ,  108 (7), 557-558.
Intellectual propertyThaldar, D. W. (2016). Biotech Innovation in South Africa: Twenty Years in Review. Biotechnology Law Report, 35(1), 37-42.
Thaldar, D. W. (2016). Patenting Decisions by South African Biotechnology Entrepreneurs. Biotechnology Law Report, 35(4), 147-163.
Organ transplantSlabbert, M., Mnyongani, F. D., & Goolam, N. (2011). Law, religion and organ transplants.  Koers ,  76 (2), 261-282.
Strode, A., & Soni, S. (2012). Pre-implantation diagnosis to create'saviour siblings': a critical discussion of the current and future legal frameworks in South Africa.  SAMJ: South African Medical Journal ,  102 (1), 21-24.
Soni, S (2010) Regulating Human Cloning – A Commonwealth Comparison. Speculum Juris , Issue 2010(2)
Reproductive law – IVF Thaldar, D. W. (2017). A constitutional critique on the regulations relating to artificial fertilisation of persons. South African Journal of Bioethics and Law, 10(1), 29-31.
Reproductive law – Posthumous conceptionThaldar, D. W. (2018). Posthumous conception: Recent legal developments in South Africa.  SAMJ: South African Medical Journal ,  108 (6), 471-473.
Reproductive law – Surrogate motherhoodThaldar, D. W. (2014). Surrogacy commissioning fathers and HIV. SAMJ: South African Medical Journal, 104(1), 12-13.
Thaldar, D. W. (2016). Surrogate motherhood in illness that does not cause infertility. SAMJ: South African Medical Journal, 106(7), 684-685.
Thaldar, D. W. (2018). The need to develop objective criteria for suitability as a surrogate mother: Reflections on Ex Parte KAF.  South African Journal of Bioethics and Law ,  11 (1), 35-37.
Carnelley C. & Soni,S (2008) A Tale of Two Mummies. Providing a womb in South Africa: Surrogacy and the legal rights of parents within the Children’s Act 38 of 2005. A brief comparative study with the United Kingdom. Speculum Juris, Issue 2008(2)
Research involving human participants – Children Slack, C. M., & Strode, A. E. (2016). But is this really the ‘parent’or ‘guardian’? Practical strategies for consent to child research in South Africa.  South African journal of bioethics and law ,  9 (1), 35-38.
Strode, A. E., & Slack, C. M. (2015). Child research in South Africa: How do the new regulations help?.  SAMJ: South African Medical Journal ,  105 (11), 899-900.
Strode, A. E., Toohey, J., Singh, P., & Slack, C. M. (2015). Boni mores and consent for child research in South Africa.  South African journal of bioethics and law ,  8 (1), 22-25.
Strode, A. (2015). A critical review of the regulation of research involving children in South Africa: from self-regulation to hyper-regulation.  JS Afr. L. , 334.
Strode, A., Richter, M., Wallace, M., Toohey, J., & Technau, K. (2014). Failing the vulnerable: Three new consent norms that will undermine health research with children.  Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine ,  15 (2), 46-49.
Strode, A. (2014). Compensation for research-related harm: The implications of Venter v Roche Products (Pty) Limited and Others for research ethics committees.  South African Medical Journal ,  104 (11), 759-761.
Thaldar, D. W. (2016). Social justice and research using human biological material: A response to Mahomed, Nöthling-Slabbert and Pepper. South African Medical Journal, 106(7), 678-680.
Thaldar, D. W. (2017). An imaginary legal conundrum: A reply to the response by Mahomed, Nöthling-Slabbert and Pepper. South African Medical Journal, 107(3), 199-200.
Research on human embryosThaldar, D. (2017). Stem cell research, morality, and law: an analysis of Brüstle v Greenpeace from a South African perspective. South African Journal on Human Rights, 33(3), 429-451.
Sexual and reproductive health rights – ChildrenStrode, A., Sarumi, R., Essack, Z., & Singh, P. (2018). A feminist critique of legal approaches to adolescent sexual and reproductive health rights in Eastern and Southern Africa: Denial and divergence versus facilitation.  Agenda ,  32 (1), 76-86.
Strode, A., & Essack, Z. (2017). Facilitating access to adolescent sexual and reproductive health services through legislative reform: Lessons from the South African experience.  South African Medical Journal ,  107 (9), 741-744.
Essack, Z., & Strode, A. (2015). The mandatory reporting of consensual, underage sex: Knowledge, practices and perspectives of social workers in KwaZulu-Natal.  South African Journal of Bioethics and Law ,  8 (2), 21-25.
Essack, Z., and Toohey, J. (accepted, SAJBL, October issue ). Unpacking the ‘close-in-age’ provision in relation to the decriminalisation of underage consensual sex in South Africa. South African Journal of Bioethics and Law, 2018.
Strode, A. E., Toohey, J. D., & Slack, C. M. (2016). Addressing legal and policy barriers to male circumcision for adolescent boys in South Africa. South African Medical Journal, 106(12), 1173-1176.
Essack, Z., Toohey, J., & Strode, A. (2016). Reflecting on adolescents’ evolving sexual and reproductive health rights: canvassing the opinion of social workers in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Reproductive health matters, 24(47), 195-204.
End-of-life issuesBhamjee, S. (2010). Is the right to die with dignity constitutionally guaranteed? Baxter v Montana and other developments in patient autonomy and physician assisted suicide.  Obiter ,  31 (2), 333-352.
Criminal Law and HIV
Bhamjee, S., & Strode, A. (2006). HIV status as a mitigating factor in sentencing: a critical review S v Magida 2005 2 SACR 591 (SCA): case.  Obiter ,  27 (2), 391-396.
Bhamjee, S. (2008). A tale of attempted murder and HIV...: S v Nyalungu 2005 JOL 13254 (T): cases.  Obiter ,  29 (2), 317-328.
Children and Sexual Offences
Strode, A., Toohey, J., Slack, C., & Bhamjee, S. (2013). Reporting underage consensual sex after the Teddy Bear case: A different perspective.  South African Journal of Bioethics and Law ,  6 (2), 45-47.
Bhamjee, S., Essack, Z., & Strode, A. E. (2016). Amendments to the Sexual Offences Act dealing with consensual underage sex: Implications for doctors and researchers.  South African Medical Journal ,  106 (3), 256-259.
Criminal Law
Bhamjee, S., & Hoctor, S. (2005). Constructive breaking-a constructive part of the housebreaking crime?: note.  Obiter ,  26 (3), 726-733.
Bhamjee, S., & Hoctor, S. (2006). Of obedience and offence-S v Mostert 2006 1 SACR 560 (N): case.  Obiter ,  27 (3), 663-673.
Bhamjee, S., & Hoctor, S. (2007). When is indecency" public"?-Rose v Director of Public Prosecutions [2006] 1 WLR 2626 (QBD): case.
Global Health Research Collaborations
Musolino, N., Lazdins, J., Toohey, J., & IJsselmuiden, C. (2015). COHRED Fairness Index for international collaborative partnerships.  The Lancet ,  385 (9975), 1293-1294.
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, & Committee on Population. (2015). Sharing Research Data to Improve Public Health in Africa: A Workshop Summary. National Academies Press.
* ‘Thaldar DW’ was previously ‘Jordaan DW’.
Non-academic publications
End of life issues Bhamjee, S. (2011). Legalizing the right to end a life [Press release]. Retrieved from http://www.news24.com/Archives/Witness/Legalising-the-right-to-end-a-life-20150430
Reproductive health Soni S (2010) Am I my sister’s keeper? The new assisted reproductive technologies and the law. The Natal Witness. February 2010
Soni, S (2018) Can I choose my baby’s gender? Your Pregnancy, August/September (2018)
Global Health Research Collaborations
Edwards, D., Toohey, J. and IJsselmuiden, C. (2014). Negotiating Research Contracts: Creating Opportunities for Stronger Research and Innovation Systems. COHRED. Geneva & Pietermaritzburg. P1-39. ISBN: 978-92-9226-062-0.
Marais, D., Toohey, J and IJsselmuiden, C. (2013). Where there is no lawyer: Guidance for fairer contract negotiation in collaborative research partnerships. COHRED. Geneva & Pietermaritzburg. p1-46. ISBN: 978-92-9226-059-0. Guidance booklet.
Andanda P, Wathuta J and Solveig F. (2017). Compliance Failures, a report for TRUST, available at: http://trust-project.eu/deliverables-and-tools/ . With input from: François Bompart, David Coles, Julia Dammann, François Hirsch, Joshua Kimani, Klaus Leisinger, Gwenaelle Luc, David Morton, Ngaya Munuo, Vasantha Muthuswamy, Karin Schmitt, Michelle Singh, Jacintha Toohey, Carel IJsselmuiden, Jaci van Niekerk and Rachel Wynberg.
Sustainable collaboration tool supporting bi-regional S&T cooperation on joint health priorities Research Fairness Initiative. (2017). (RFI- Reporting Guide accessed on [28 Septemebr 2018] at [https://caast-net-plus.org/object/news/1683/attach/D3_2_RFI_guidelines.pdf]. Authors: Carel IJsselmuiden, Janis Lazdins, Lauranne Botti, Kirstly Klipp, Jacintha Toohey, Nivedhna Sing, Katharina Kuss, Eric Mwangi Organisation Names: Council on Health Research for Development (COHRED); Spanish Foundation for International Cooperation and Policy (FCSAI), Kenyan Ministry of Education Science and Technology (MoEST).
Research Fairness Initiative Implementation Guide accessed on [28 September 2018] at [https://caast-net-plus.org/object/event/1663/attach/RFI_SummaryGuide_2017https://caast-net-plus.org/object/event/1663/attach/RFI_SummaryGuide_2017_LOW_RES.pdf_LOW_RES.pdf]. This document was prepared by the RFI Core Writing Group: Carel IJsselmuiden, Lauranne Botti, Janis Lazdins, Jacintha Toohey, Nivedhna Sing, Kirsty Klipp.
Kate Chatfield, Olivia Biernacki, Doris Schroeder, Francesca Cavallaro, Julie Cook, Dieynaba N’Diaye, Francois Bompart, Roger Chennells, Jacintha Toohey, Rachel Wynberg, Jaci van Niekirk, Myriam Ait Aissa. (2018). Research with, not about, communities - Ethical guidance towards empowerment in collaborative research, a report for the TRUST project. http://trust-project.eu/ .
Toohey,J., et al. (2017) Fair Research Contracting Online webtool. http://frcweb.cohred.org/ (Note: This project was one of three deliverables in European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, under funding agreement No. 664771. COHRED was Work Package Leader for this deliverable, which was led by Ms J. Toohey).
Doris Schroeder, et al. (2017) Global Code of Conduct for Research in Resource-Poor Settings. European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, under funding agreement No. 664771. http://wp.globalcodeofconduct.org/about-the-code/ (Note: The Global Code is on the Participant Portal, which is officially the first code and the first addition to the portal that was produced by an European Union project - http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/docs/h2020-funding-guide/cross-cutting-issues/ethics_en.htm ).