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Evaluating the current knowledge of legislation and practice of obstetricians and gynaecologists in the management of foetal remains in South Africa.

du Toit-Prinsloo, L and Pickles, C and Lombaard, H (2016) 'Evaluating the current knowledge of legislation and practice of obstetricians and gynaecologists in the management of foetal remains in South Africa.', South African medical journal., 106 (4). pp. 403-406.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: In the clinical setting, the main legislative provisions governing the management and 'disposal' of fetal remains in South Africa are the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act 92 of 1996 and the Births and Deaths Registration Act 51 of 1992 OBJECTIVES: To determine obstetricians' and gynaecologists' current knowledge of this legislation. Current practice with regard to certification of death and methods of disposal of fetal material was also reviewed METHODS: A questionnaire-based study was conducted. The data collected included demographic details, qualifications, years of experience, working environment (public/private practice), responses to general questions reviewing knowledge of current legislation, and practical experience RESULTS: Seventy-six questionnaires were returned, with practitioners from the private and public sectors nearly equally represented. It was found that there is a concerning gap in obstetricians' and gynaecologists' knowledge of the law, and that some practitioners are acting outside the scope of the law. The study further revealed that patients' needs are not properly accommodated under the current legislative provisions, because the law prevents certain remains from being respectfully managed CONCLUSIONS: The study findings suggest that improved training of practitioners, together with possible law reform, are required to better serve the needs of patients

Item Type:Article
Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.7196/samj.2016.v106i4.10214
Date accepted:23 October 2015
Date deposited:26 September 2019
Date of first online publication:01 April 2016
Date first made open access:No date available

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