Wilful blindness


  • Leanne Sykes Head of Department of Prosthodontics, University of Pretoria, South Africa
  • Albert M van Zyl


transgressions, perpetrator


Practitioners who are aware of colleagues carrying out unprofessional activities, yet choose to turn a blind eye to the transgressions, may themselves be acting dishonestly and unethically. This paper explores both the legal and ethical concerns of “wilful blindness” on the part of those who observe potential wrongdoing among others within the dental fraternity, yet remain silent. It also covers the HPCSA regulations regarding the duty to report and the risks associated with being a “whistle-blower”.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...


The South African law of delict. Accessed at: https://www.saflii.org/content/terms.html; Accessed on 27-08-2023

Elements of delict. Accessed at: https://www.coursehero.com/file/p455doj/Elements-of-a-delictual-action-The-five-requirements-or-elements-necessary-for/delict; Accessed on 20-08-2023

Delict definition. Accessed at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_African_law_of_delict; Accessed on 20-11-2023

Neethling J. “The conflation of wrongfulness and negligence: Is it always such a bad thing for the law of delict?” (2006) 123 SALJ 204

Beauchamps TI, Childress JF. (2001) Principles of Biomedical Ethics. New York, Oxford University Press

Sykes LM, Evans WG, Dullabh HD. Part 14. Negligence versus Malpractice: The “Reasonable Man Rule”. SADJ. Oct 2017. Vol.72 9, 430-432

HPCSA Guidelines, Booklet no 2. Genetic Ethical Rules and Annexures Pg 18-19. Accessed at : http://www.hpcsa.co.za; Accessed on 20-08-2023

“How to Lodge a Complaint” Accessed at: HPCSA E-Bulletin. HPCSA, HPCSA Corporate Affairs, 12 Sept. 2016, www.hpcsa-bogs.co.za/how-to-lodge-acomplaint/; Accessed on 28-08-2023

Hippocratic Oath. Accessed at the National Library of Medicine website: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/hmd/greek/greek_oath.html. Accessed on 27-08-2023

The war against indifference. Accessed at: https://churchlifejournal.nd.edu/articles/st-maximilian-kolbe-and-the-war-against-indifference/; Accessed on 10-11-2023




How to Cite

Sykes, L., & van Zyl, A. M. (2024). Wilful blindness. South African Dental Journal, 78(10), 529–531. Retrieved from https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/sadj/article/view/18019

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 3 > >>