HPCSA: Doctors may Refuse Treatment – but within Reason


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The medical ethics code allows for a doctor to refuse providing health care if it puts them in danger.

However, that same code also entitles people access to medical care.

The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA’s) Head of Division for Professional Practice Mpho Mbodi was speaking as there is concern that doctors may refuse to treat patients that have not been vaccinated against Covid-19.

Mbodi notes that doctors cannot deny treatment based on what the patient “may or may not have done”.

He says that patients can contact the HPCSA to report doctors’ irregular behaviour.

A picture is doing the rounds on social media which shows a sign reportedly posted by a doctor, refusing to treat people who have not been vaccinated.

This also comes as people who opt not to be inoculated against Covid-19 are worried that they may also be denied medical treatment amongst others.

[Header image: The Atlantic]

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May 19, 2022
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