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South African Journal of Occupational Therapy

On-line version ISSN 2310-3833
Print version ISSN 0038-2337

S. Afr. j. occup. ther. vol.38 n.3 Pretoria  2008




The right to respect for autonomy - Part II



Dain van der Reyden

Nat Dip OT, BA, LLM (Med Law); Senior Lecturer - Department of Occupational Therapy, University of KwaZulu-Natal





This paper, the second in a series, approaches patient autonomy from an occupational therapy practitioner perspective. The Occupational Therapy Codes of Ethics as well as the Health Professions Council Guidelines for good practice are briefly reviewed, rights identified, limitations to autonomy discussed and practical implications and explicit guidelines for practice, as relevant to different areas of practice, proposed.

Key words: Patient autonomy, ethics, legislation, patient's rights, occupational therapy



“Full text available only in PDF format”




1. van der Reyden D. The Right to Respect for Autonomy - Part 1: What is Autonomy all about? South African Journal of Occupational Therapy. 2008; 38(1):27-31.         [ Links ]

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4. British Association of Occupational Therapists Code of Ethics, College of Occupational Therapy, British Journal of Occupational Therapy 2001; 64 (12) 613-614.         [ Links ]

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6. Occupational Therapy Association of South Africa Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct (revised July 2005). South African Journal of Occupational Therapy 2007; 37:2 16-17.         [ Links ]

7. WFOT Survey results - Occupational Therapy Human Resources project. Draft. 2008. [14/7/08].         [ Links ]

8. Health Professions Council of South Africa. Booklets 1-17. Guidelines for Good Practice in the Health Care Professions. 2002, largely revised May 2007. Published by HPCSA Pretoria. [14/7/08]. Booklet 1 - General Ethical guidelines for Health Care Professions. Pretoria, 2002. Booklet 3 - National Patient's rights Charter. Pretoria, 2002. Booklet 10 - Seeking Patients Informed Consent: The Ethical Considerations (2ed) Pretoria, 2007. Booklet 11 - Confidentiality: Protecting and Providing Information (2ed) Pretoria, 2007. Items:,,,,11.

9. Patients Rights Charter as published by the South African Department of Health, launched in 1999.Available at rightscharter.htlm. Also published as booklet 3 of HPCSA guidelines.         [ Links ]

10. Constitution of Republic of South Africa. Act 108 A 1996. Sections 10, 12 (2) Butterworths Statutes of South Africa as at 12 Feb 2007.         [ Links ]

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Dain Van Der Reyden



This paper was initially prepared as requirement for the LLM[Med Law]. The guidance of Prof J Singh [ UKZN ] is gratefully acknowledged.

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