The child’s right to family and parental care during hospitalisation: Exploring legal obligations and policy standards for hospitals

P Mahery


All children are guaranteed the right to family or parental care in section 28 (1)(b) of the South African Constitution. This right also applies to hospitalised children who require support from parents and family during hospitalisation. The entitlements that stem from this right create various obligations for public and private hospitals. These include the obligation that hospitals should refrain from interfering with the hospitalised child’s right to family and parental care, as well as their obligation to facilitate the enjoyment of this right in the best interest of all child patients. The effective implementation of existing and perhaps additional healthcare policy standards can assist hospitals in ensuring consistent and equal enjoyment of family and parental care for all hospitalised children.

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P Mahery, Oliver Schreiner School of Law, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

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Cite this article

South African Journal of Bioethics and Law 2021;14(2):62-66.

Article History

Date submitted: 2021-06-18
Date published: 2021-06-18

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