Marietjie Botes

Lawyer and health law researcher

BioLAWgic / University of KwaZulu Natal

Marietjie has transitioned from a 20-year career as a practicing attorney in health law and biotechnology to academia focusing on interdisciplinary research at the intersection of science, technology, law, and ethics. She holds the degrees of BProc, LLB, LLM (Intellectual Property Law), and a PhD (Biotechnology Law). Her research interests include the regulation and ethics involved in advanced medical products such as gene therapies, gene, and stem cell research, the use of big (geospatial) data in the context of health emergencies and pandemics, Digital Health technologies – in particular with regard to implanted devices such as Brain-Computer Interfaces and their impact on fundamental rights, including online behavioural manipulation and how it shapes debates around digital ethics and its push towards digital constitutionalism. Marietjie published widely on these topics, both nationally and internationally, and served as co-editor for the special edition on Digital Ethics for the Humanities and Social Sciences Communications Journal (Springer Nature). She is an elected member of ASSAf involved with the second consensus study on gene therapies in South Africa, and one of the invited experts and co-authors of the SA Country Reports on COVID-19 in which she addressed various legal issues regarding pandemic management. As legal designer Marietjie creates comics, writes short stories and children’s books about biomedical and digital ethics to create awareness and stimulate debate among a wide variety of people – and in her free time she plays the flute.

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