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Staff Profile

Professor Ames Dhai

QualificationsMBChB, PG Dip Int Res Ethics, LLM, PhD, FCOG
Phone 0117172718
Organisational Unit Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics

Professor Dhai is the Director of the Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics which she established in 2007 at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand. It has local and international recognition as a leading Centre. She is a member of the Wits Senate Academic Freedom Committee and current Chair of the University Forum. She serves on several policy making bodies in the country, including being a Past President of the South African Medical Association (SAMA), and the Board of the recently established South African Health Products Regulatory Authority. She also serves as an expert advisor for the World Medical Association, the World Health Organisation, and is on the WHO’s African Advisory Committee for Health Research. She participated in activities of the Institutes of Medicine (USA), and the National Academies of Sciences (USA). She is Editor-in-chief of the South African Journal of Bioethics and Law and Associate Editor of the South African Medical Journal. She can be credited with entrenching bioethics as an integral aspect of health sciences in SA. She is the recipient of several awards including SAMA Gender Acclaim Award (2012), the SAMA Certificate Award (2012) in honour of patriotism, courage and contribution made in the struggle for liberation of the Medical Profession and a joint recipient of the Vice-Chancellor’s Academic Citizenship Award (2017). Using an academic platform, Professor Dhai has taken a lead in health advocacy and activism.




  • Dhai A. Consulting Editor. Ethics, Science, Technology, and Engineering: A Global Resource, 2nd edition. Edited by Holbrook JB and Mitcham C. 4 vols. Farmington Hills, MI: Macmillan Reference USA, 2015.




  • Mapukata-Sondzaba N, Dhai A, Tsotsi N, & Ross E.  Developing personal attributes of professionalism during clinical rotations: views of final year bachelor of clinical medical practice students. BMC Medical Education 2014; 14 (1), 146.  URL
  • Coleman CH, Ardiot C, Blesson S, Bonnin Y, Bompart F, Colonna P, Dhai A, Ecuru J, Edielu A, Hervé C, Hirsch F, Kouyaté B, Mamzer-Bruneel M, Maoundé D, Martinent C, Ntsiba H, Pelé G, Quéva G, Reinmund M, Cor Sarr S, Sepou A, Tarral A, Tetimian D, Valverde O, Van Nieuwenhove S and Strub-Wourgaft N.  Improving the quality of host country ethical oversight of international research: The use of a collaborative pre-review mechanism for a study of fexinidazole for human African trypanosomiasis.  Developing World Bioethics 2014.  URL
  • Gwandure R, Ross E, Dhai A, Gardener J. Parents’ perceptions of HIV counselling and    testing in schools: Ethical, legal and social implications. SAMJ 2014; 104(1)
  • Dhai A. The Research Ethics Evolution : From Nuremberg to Helsinki. SAMJ 2014; 104(3): 178-180.
  • van Niekerk M, Dhai A, Guidozzi Y. Is there a Foundation in South African Legislation to Require Students to Disclose their Academic Status to Patients When Involved in Their Care? SAJBL 2014; 7(1): 9-13. 
  • Dhai A. Limiting Donor Conceptions to Six: Time for Change. SAJBL 2014; 7(1): 2-3.
  • Rid A, Saxena A, Baqui AH, Bhan A, Bines J, Bouesseau M, Caplan A, Colgrove C, Dhai A, Gomez-Diaz R, Green SK, Kang G, Lagos R, Loh P, London AJ, Mulholland K, Neels P, Pitisuttithum P, Sarr SC, Selgelid M, Sheehan M, Smith PG. Placebo use in vaccine trials: Recommendations of a WHO expert panel. Vaccine 2014.  URL
  • Gardner J, Dhai ANanotechnology and Water: Ethical and Regulatory Considerations.  In Mishra AK.  Water Research and Nanotechnology Application.  Wiley.  July 2014





  • Dhai A.  Editorial. Establishing national biobanks in South Africa: The urgent need for an ethico-regulatory framework. SAJBL Nov 2013; 6 (2): 38-39.
  • Gostin LO, Friedman EA, Buse K, Waris A, Mulumba M, Joel M, Dare L, Dhai A and Sridharh D.  Towards a framework convention on global health.  Bull World Health Organ 2013; 91 (10): 790 – 793.
  • Zvonareva O, Engel N, Ross E, Berghmans R, Dhai A and Krumeich A. Engaging diverse social and cultural worlds: Perspectives on benefits in international clinical research from South African communities.  Dev World Bioethics.  May 2013.  URL
  • Guidozzi Y, Gardner J, Dhai A.  Professionalism in the intimate examination: How healthcare practitioners feel about having chaperones present during an intimate consultation and examination.  SAMJ, 2013, 103 (1); 25 – 27.
  • Dhai A, Payne-James JJ. Clinical aspects of sexual violence: Problems of capacity, consent and confidentiality. Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics and Gynaecology 2013, (27); 59-75.
  • Text Book : Sathar A, Dhai A. Human Biological Material in Collaborative Research : Ethical Issues. 2013; Lambert Academic Publishing. Germany.
  • Dhai A.  Editorial. Solidarity and South Africa’s healthcare professionals. SAJBL Jun 2013; 6 (1):2-3.
  • Dhai A, Mahomed S. Biobanks Research: Time for discussion and debate. SAMJ.  Apr 2013; 103 (4): 225 – 227. 
  • Sathar MA, Dhai A, van der Linde S. Access to human biological materials in collaborative research with developing countries and South Africa. Dev World Bioethics.  May 2013.  URL


  • Meissner-Roloff M, Young W, Rangaka I, Dhai A, Tsotsi N, Lombaard H, Pepper MS. Pilot social feasibility study for the establishment of a public human umbilical cord blood stem cell bank in South Africa. Stem Cell Rev and Rep, 22 June 2012; 8(2).
  • Dhai A. Editorial: A health system that violates patients’ rights to access health care. SAJBL, June 2012; 5(1): 2-3.
  • Gostin L, Dhai A.  Global health justice: A perspective from the global South on a framework convention on global health. SAJBL, June 2012; 5(1): 33 – 7.
  • Sathar MA, Dhai A.  Laws, regulations and guidelines of developed and developing countries in Africa and BRICS regions pertaining to the use of human biological materials (HBM) in research. SAJBL; 2012; 5: 51-54.
  • Dhai A. Editorial:Vulnerability Exploited and a Population Betrayed. SAJBL, Dec 2012; 5(2);62 6
  • Fellingham R, Dhai A, Guidozzi Y, Gardner J. The ‘War on Drugs’ has failed: Is Decriminalization of Drug Use a Solution to the Problem in South Africa? SAJBL, 2012; 5(2) :74-77  
  • Dhai A, Veriava Y. Health Inequity in South Africa – A By-product of Injustice. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health. 2012; 36(6): 520.   



  • Dhai A, Gardner J, Guidozzi Y   , Howarth G, Vorster M. Vaginal deliveries – is there a need for documented consent? SAMJ (2011) 101; 20-22.
  • Dhai A. “Why do I need a chaperone?” HPCSA. The Bulletin. (2011) 28-29. (
  • Dhai A, Gardner J, Guidozzi Y, Howarth G, Vorster M. Professionalism in the Intimate Examination – Are Chaperones the Answer? SAMJ(2011) 101; 814-816.
  • Dhai A.  Beyond Crawling. SAJBL (2011); 4.
  • Dhai A.  Healthcare reform in South Africa: A step in the direction of social justice. SAJBL (2011) 4; 48-49.
  • Dhai A, Etheredge HR, Vorster M, VeriavaY. The public’s attitude towards strike action by health care workers and health services in South Africa. SAJBL (2011) 4; 58-62.


Text book: Bioethics, Human Rights and Health Law Principles and Practice 


Authors/Editors: Ames Dhai and David McQuoid-Mason

Publisher: Juta & Co Ltd

ISBN 978-0-70218-052-1 - 2011


  • Ethical concepts, principles and theories and their application to health care, 3-15

Authors: Ames Dhai, DJ McQuoid-Mason, Donna Knapp van Bogaert

  • International codes of health care ethics, 16- 34

Authors: Ames Dhai and Harriet Etheredge

  • Health and human rights, 35-47

Authors: David McQuoid-Mason and Ames Dhai

  • The health practitioner – patient relationship, 59-68

Authors: David McQuoid-Mason and Ames Dhai

  • Consent, 69-85

Authors: David McQuoid-Mason and Ames Dhai

  • Confidentiality, 88-91

Authors: David McQuoid-Mason and Ames Dhai

  • Reproductive health, 97-110

Authors: David McQuoid-Mason and Ames Dhai

  • Genetics, 111-117

Authors: Ames Dhai, David McQuoid-Mason and Donna Knapp van Bogaert

  • Use of human tissue, 118-125

Authors: David McQuoid-Mason and Ames Dhai

  • End of life issues,126-134

Authors: David McQuoid-Mason, Ames Dhai

  • HIV and AIDS,135-142

Authors: David McQuoid-Mason and Ames Dhai

  • Resource allocation,143-150

Authors: Ames Dhai and Harriet Etheredge

  • Business ethics – the Health Care Context, 151-157

Authors: Ames Dhai and David McQuoid-Mason 

  • The ethics of research

Authors: Ames Dhai and Peter Cleaton-Jones




  • Dhai A, Etheredge H, Cleaton-Jones H. A pilot study evaluating an intervention designed to raise awareness of clinical trials among potential participants in the developing world. JMed Ethics 2010 36:238-242.
  • Dhai A, Mcquoid-Mason DJ. What is the function of Research Ethics Committees (RECs)? SAJBL 2010 1: 2-3.
  • Member of Academy of Sciences of South Africa (ASSAF) study panel for Consensus Report on “Revitalizing Clinical Research in South Africa” – a study on clinical research and training in SA.
  • Member of Institutes of Medicine (IOM), USA Committee onEnvisioning a Strategy to Prepare for the Long-Term Burden of HIV/AIDS: African Needs and U.S. Interests” – objective of study is to prepare recommendations for the US Cabinet.
  • Dhai A. To Chaperone or not to Chaperone? SAJBL (2010), 3; 54.



  • Szabo CP, Dhai A, Veller M, Kleinsmidt. Surgeons and HIV: South African attitudes. SAMJ, 2009: Vol 99 No 2; 110 – 113.
  • “What it means to be part of a clinical trial” a “speaking book” to empower populations on issues regarding their rights and responsibilities when participating in clinical research. Launched in March. A collaboration between the Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics, the World Medical Association, the South African Medical Association, the South African Depression and Anxiety Group. Funded by Pfizer, External Medical Affairs, International.
  • Dhai A. Medical law and litigation. SAJBL 2009 2: 2.
  • Dhai A. Polytics Pollyanas and Health. SAJBL 2009 1: 2-3.



  • Venter WDF, Naicker S, Dhai A, Fabian June, Uniquely South African: Time to consider offering HIV- positive Donor Kidneys to HIV-infected Renal Failure Patients.  SAMJ, 2008: Vol 98 No 3; 182-183.
  • van Bogaert LJ, Dhai A. Ethical Challenges of Treating the Critically Ill Patient. Best Practice and Research Clinical Obstetrics and Gynaecology 2008: Vol 22 No 5. 983-996
  • Dhai A. An Introduction to Informed Consent: Ethico-legal Requirements. SADJ, 2008: Vol 63 No 1 18-20.
  • Dhai A. Understanding Professionalism in Health Care in the 21st Century. SADJ, 2008: Vol 63, No 3; 174-177.
  • Dhai A, McQuoid-Mason DJ. What does professionalism in Health Care mean in the 21st century? (Editorial) SAJBL, 2008: Vol 1 No1 2-3.
  • Dhai A. Informed Consent - 2008, SAJBL 2008: Vol 1 No 1, 27-30.
  • Dhai A. Through the looking glass. SAJBL 2008: Vol 1 No 1, 34-35.



  • Naidoo S, Ross MH, Dhai A. Ethics in Occupational Health Research in South Africa Occupational Health Southern Africa, 2007: Jan/Feb 4-9.
  • Sugarman J and the Participants in the Partnership for Enhancing Human Research Protections Durban Workshop. Ethical Oversight of Multinational Collaborative Research: Lessons from Africa for Building Capacity and for Policy. Research Ethics Review, 2007: Vol 3, No 3 84-86.
  • Dhai A. HIV and AIDS: Ethical and Legal Challenges. SADJ , 2007: Vol 62 No 10 428 – 430.



  • Madiba TE, Dhai A. Addressing authorship disputes. SAMJ. 2006: 96;49-50.
  • Dhai A, Mkhize B. The Health Professions Council of South Africa and the medical practitioner. CME. 2006: 24; 8-11.
  • Dhai A. The Criminal Law (Sexual Offenses) Amendment Bill – Implications of Criminalising Non-Disclosure of HIV Status. SAMJ. 2006: 96; 301-302.
  • Dhai A. Szabo CP, McQuoid-Mason DJ. The Impaired Practitioner – Scope of the Problem and Ethical Challenges. SAMJ. 2006: 96; 1069-1072
  • Szabo CP, Dhai A,  Veller M. HIV-positive status among surgeons – an ethical dilemma. SAMJ. 2006: 96; 1072-1075.
  • Dhai A, Msomi N, McQuoid-Mason DJ. Ethical Guidelines for Biotechnology Research LIFElab-EcoBio Regional Innovation Centre. 2006.
  • Dhai A, Msomi N, McQuoid-Mason DJ. Legal Guidelines for Biotechnology Research LIFElab-EcoBio Regional Innovation Centre. 2006.



  • Dhai A, Noble R. Ethical Issues in HIV. Best Practice and Research Clinical Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 2005: 19; 255-267. 
  • Maharaj NR, Dhai A, Wiersma R, Moodley J. Intersex Conditions in Children and Adolescents: Surgical, Ethical and Legal Considerations.J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2005 18:399-402. 
  • Dhai A. Module Five, Implementation of Ethics Review. Developing World Bioethics. Special Issue: Southern African Research Ethics Training Program. 2005: 5; 73-91. 
  • Freeman WL, Romero FC, Sayaka K, Dhai A. Module 11. Group Harms, Community Consultation, and Human Research Protection. CITI Web Program Coordinated at the University of Miami School of Medicine. 
  • Dhai A. Research Ethics Review – Protecting Participants in Research. SAMJ. 2005: 95; 595-597.
  • Van Zijl S, Johnson B, Benatar S, Cleaton-Jones P, Netshidzivhani P, Ratsaka-Mothokoa M, Shilumani C, Rees H, Dhai A. Editors. Ethics in Health Research: principles, structures and processes. Pretoria: Department of Health, 2004: 1-68. (appeared in 2005).
  • Contributor to the Medical Research Council Guidelines on Ethics for Medical Research: HIV Prevention Vaccine Research.



  • Dhai A. Patenting our Human Heritage. A two part series. Africa Science. Access at
  • Dhai A, Hira B, Moodley J. Umbilical Cord Blood Banking. Ethico-legal Issues. O & G Forum August 2004.
  • A.Dhai, JMoodley, DJMcquiod-Mason, C Rodeck. Ethical and legal controversies in cloning for biomedical research – a South African perspective. SAMJ. 2004: 94; 906-909. 



  • McQuoid-Mason DJ, Dhai A, Moodley J.  Rape Survivors And The Right To Emergency Medical Treatment. South African Medical Journal 2003: 93: 1: 41-44.
  • Dhai A, McQuoid-Mason DJ. Safe Termination of Pregnancy and Conscientious Objections. Modern Medicine 2003: 28: 3: 40.
  • Dhai A, McQuoid-Mason DJ, Moodley J. The South African Law and the Health Care Professional. O & G Forum April 2003.
  • Dhai A. Cloning stem cells – change on the horizon. Africa Science. Access at



  • Dhai A, Moodley J. The Legal Consequences of Gender Reassignment Surgery – A Juristic Vacuum. South African Medical Journal 2002; 92: 207-208.
  • Knapp van Bogaert D., Dhai A, van Bogaert L-J, Howarth G, Hanecom D, Ogunbanjo G. The State Attitude to Antiretroviral Treatment - The Doctor's Duty to Speak Out. South African Medical Journal 2002: 92: 272-273.
  • Dhai A. Research in Africa. European Forum of Good Clinical Practice Newsletter (June 2002).
  • Dhai A, Moodley J, O'Sullivan Michelle. Safe Termination of Pregnancy – An Enabling Ethical and Legal Framework: O & G Forum 2002: 12; 3.



  • Dhai A, Moodley J. Ethical Challenges to the Health Profession-Patient Relationship. Transactions - Journal of the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa 2001; 45; 2: 41-43.
  • Dhai A, Dada MA. Medico-Legal Aspects of Alcohol. Introduction to Medico-Legal Practice. Butterworths 2001281-297.
  • Dhai A, Dada MA, Kirk GM, McQuoid-Mason DJ. Confidentiality – a Dying Wish? South African Medical Journal 2001; 91: 123-126.
  • Dada MA, Dhai A. South African Medical Ethics: Biko, Basson, Bezwoda...what's next? [Letter]. South African Medical Journal 2001;91: 10.