If fertility patients pass away, what happens to their in vitro embryos?

South African fertility clinics often include a provision in their consent forms that deals with the disposition of reproductive material (gametes and embryos) after a fertility patient’s death. This practice is problematic as such a provision is not legally valid. If the clinic acts in pursuance of such a provision upon a fertility patient’s death, the fertility clinic may be committing a civil wrong and a crime. But what is the solution? Read more in my article in the South African Medical Journal.

Is open-identity gamete donation lawful in South Africa?

South African gamete banks and gamete donation agencies do not offer open-identity donors, as it is generally believed that donor anonymity is a legal requirement in South Africa. Together with Dr Bonginkosi Shozi, I investigated the veracity of this belief. In our article in the South African Medical Journal, we offer a comprehensive analysis of all the South African statutes and case law relevant to this topic. We conclude that the notion that gamete donors must always be anonymous is mistaken. In actuality, the law provides that gamete donation in South Africa can be anywhere on the spectrum between anonymous and known. Accordingly, open-identity gamete donation is lawful in South Africa and should be offered to the public by South African gamete banks and gamete donation agencies. Read our article here.

Photo 103206680 / Sperm Donation © Anamaria Mejia | Dreamstime.com

South Africa’s latest medically assisted reproduction draft regulations: close, but no cigar

In March 2021, the South African minister of health published a new set of draft regulations on medically assisted reproduction. Although these latest draft regulations address some of the shortcomings in the current regulations, they also introduce new issues of concern. Dr Bonginkosi Shozi and I analyse these latest draft regulations and make comprehensive recommendations for improvement. Read our article here.

Photo 49380679 / Cigar © Sergii Kolesnyk | Dreamstime.com