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Faculty Member

Solomon (Solly) Robert Benatar MBChB, DSc (Med), FFA (SA), FRCP (Lond), FACP(Hon)

Email Address(es)
Office Address
Joint Centre for Bioethics 155 College Street, Room 754 Toronto, Ontario , Ontario M5T 1P8
Clinical Public Health Division
Centre for Global Health
Adjunct Professor
SGS Status
Associate Member

Research Interests

  • Cross Cultural Considerations in International Research Ethics
  • Public Health Ethics
  • Global/Planetary Health Ethics
  • Global/Planetary Health
  • Health services in South Africa
  • Professionalism
  • Human Rights

Education & Training History

1965 MBChB University of Cape Town

1967-1968 General Practice, Port Elizabeth

1969-1971 Anaesthetic Registrar, Groote Schuur Hospital.

1972 Medical Registrar, Groote Schuur Hospital.

1973 Research Fellow, Northwick Park Hospital (British MRC), London.

1973-1974 Research Fellow & Honorary Registrar Brompton Hospital/Cardiothoracic Institute, London.

Other Affiliations

Emeritus Professor of Medicine, University of Cape Town

Past Founding Director, Centre for Bioethics, University of Cape Town

Primary Teaching Responsibilities

  • Bioethics to medical students at the University of Cape Town (UCT)
  • Module in International Research Ethics MHSc (Bioethics) University of Toronto
  • Global Health and Global Health Ethics (JCB and DLSPH)

Professional Summary & Appointments

Professor and Head, Department of Medicine, University of Cape Town & Groote Schuur Hospital (1980-1999)

Professor of Medicine University of Cape Town (1980-2007)

Vice-President, (1989-1992); Senior Vice-President (1992-1995): Colleges of Medicine of South Africa.

Chief Physician Groote Schuur Hospital (1980-2007)

Founding Director, University of Cape Town Bioethics Centre (1992-2012)

Visiting Professor in Medical Ethics University College/Royal Free Medical School London (1997-)

South African Representative – The Novartis Foundation Scientific Advisory Panel (1998-2007)

President International Association of Bioethics (2001-2003)

Principal Investigator & Director IRENSA – A US NIH Fogarty International Center Capacity Building Program (2003-2011)

Annual Visiting Professor in Medicine & Publc Health Sciences. Univesity of Toronto (2000-2007)

Member of Faculty, McLaughlin Centre for Global Health, University of Toronto (2008-2011)

Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health (1/3 FTE, 1/4 FTE), University of Toronto (2008-2012)

Honorary/Guest member National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on Human Rights (1989-)

Member Advisory Board Global Physicians and Lawyers for Human Rights (2000-)

Ethics Advisor to Medecins Sans Frontieres (2001-)

Ethics Advisor to the Nelson Mandela Foundation (2003 -)

Member Canadian Institutes of Health Research Standing Committee on Ethics (2006-13)

Honours & Awards

  • Elected Foreign Associate Member, U.S. National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine, 1989.
  • Hans Snyckers Memorial Award 1990 (For creative contributions to Medicine in South Africa)
  • Elected Honorary Fellow American College of Physicians 1993.
  • Elected Founder Member South African Academy of Science 1994
  • Fellow Program in Ethics and the Professions, Harvard University 1994/95
  • Visiting Professor Harvard Medical School 1994/95
  • Elected Life Fellow University of Cape Town 1994
  • Elected Honorary Foreign Member American Academy of Arts and Sciences 1996.
  • Elected Fellow Royal Society of South Africa 1997
  • Elected Honorary Fellow South African Thoracic Society 2001
  • Elected Honorary Fellow College of Physicians of South Africa 2001
  • Elected Honorary Member Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, California 2002.
  • Elected Fellow of the Hastings Center, New York 2004
  • Elected Fellow Imperial College London 2005
  • Paul B Beeson Visiting Professor Yale University School of Medicine 2005
  • Golden Jubilee Award Colleges of Medicine of South Africa 2005
  • Elected Fellow of ETHOX Centre, Oxford University 2009
  • Mayor of Cape Town`s Medal for Social Affairs & Services for contributions to the study of Medicine in South Africa. 2011
  • Henry Knowles Beecher Award. Hastings Center, New York. 2013
  • Hatter Award. University of Cape Town/University College London 2015
  • Global Forum for Bioethics Award 2015

Current Research Projects

Benatar S R, Brock G. (Eds) Global Health: Ethical considerations. (CUP)  2ndEdition (in preparation)

Representative Publications

  • Benatar S.R. Global disparities in health and human rights: a critical commentary. Amer J Public Health. 1998; 88: 295-300.
  • Benatar S R, Daar A, Singer P A. Global health ethics: the rationale for mutual caring. International Affairs. 2003; 79: 107-138.
  • Benatar S R. Health care reform and the crisis of HIV/AIDS in South Africa. New Engl J Med; 2004; 351: 81-92.
  • Benatar S R Towards progress in resolving dilemmas in international research ethics. Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics. 2004; 32: (4) 574-582
  • Benatar S R. Moral imagination: the missing component in global health. Public Library of Science Medicine. 2005: 2 (12) e400.
  • Benatar S R, Upshur R. Dual loyalty of physicians in the military context and in civilian life. American J Public Health 2008; 98: 2161-2167
  • Benatar S R. Ethics and tropical diseases: some global considerations. Manson’s Textbook of Infectious Diseases. 21st Edition 2003, 22nd & Edition 2008
  • Benatar S R, Doyal L. Human Rights Abuses: Balancing two perspectives. International Journal of Health Services. 2009; 39 (1) 139-159)
  • Benatar S R, Gill S, Bakker I. Making progress in global health: the need for a new paradigm. International Affairs 2009. 85 (2) 347-371.
  • Benatar S R, Upshur R. Poverty & Tuberculosis: what could (and should) be done? International Journal of Tuberculosis & Lung Diseases. 2010; 14 (10) 1215-1221.
  • Benatar S R, Gill S, Bakker I C. Global health and the global economic crisis, American Journal of Public Health 2011. 101 (4) 646-653.
  • Nixon S, Benatar S R. A critical public health ethics analysis of Canada’s international response to HIV Global Public Health. First published on line 9th March 2011.
  • Benatar S R. Some oxygen please for poverty alleviation strategies. International Journal of Tuberculosis & Lung Diseases. 2011; 14 (11) 1425
  • Benatar S, Brock G. (Editors) Global Health and Global Health Ethics, Cambridge University Press 2011
  • Benatar S R. Ethical challenges for health care in South Africa. In: Health Care in South Africa. HCJ Van Rensburg (Ed). 2nd Edition Van Schaik, Pretoria. 2012 Pp 653-700
  • Benatar S R. Global leadership, ethics & global health: The seaarch for new paradigms. In: Global Crises & the Crisis of Global Health. Gill S (Ed) CUP 2011 pp127-143
  • Mayosi BM, Benatar S R. Health and health care in South Africa: 20 years after Mandela.N Engl J Med 2014; 371: 1344-1353
  • Benatar SR, Upshur R. Virtue and Values in Medicine Revisited: Individual Health & Global Health. Clinical Medicine 2014: 14: (5) 495-9
  • Benatar S R. Explaining and responding to the Ebola epidemic. Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine (2015) 10:5 DOI 10.1186/s13010-015-0027-8
  • Benatar SR. Bioethics in South Africa. Encyclopedia of Bioethics. 4th Edition. Jennings B (Ed) Farmington Hills MI, Gale Cengage Learning. 2014 pp 116-120
  • Benatar S R. Freedom of speech, academic freedom and challenges to universities in South Africa.  Society. 15th June 2016 DOI 10.1007/s12115-016-0032-6
  • Benatar SR, Daibes I, Tomsons S. Inter-Philosophies Dialogue: Creating a Paradigm for Global Health Ethics.  Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal. 2016; Vol 26 (3), pp323-346.
  • Benatar S. Politics, Power, poverty and global health: systems and frames. International Journal of Health Policy & Management. October 2016; Vol 5(10), pp 599–604. doi:10.15171/ijhpm.2016.101
  • Gill S, Benatar S R, Global Health Governance and Global Power: A Critical Commentary on The Lancet University of Oslo Commission Report. International Journal of Health Services. February 2016; Vol 46 (2), DOI: 10.1177/0020731416631734
  • Gill S, Benatar SR. History, structure and agency in global health governance: Comment on Global health governance challenges 2016 – are we ready?  International Journal of Health Policy and Management 2016; Vol 5(x), pp 1-5. doi:10.15171/ijhpm.2016.11
  • Benatar SR. Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. A response to recent Commentaries. Int J Health Policy Manag. 2017;6(x):x–x. doi:10.15171/ijhpm.2017.30Benatar S R, Sullivan T, Brown A. Why Equity in Health and in Access to Health Care are Elusive: Insights from Canada and South Africa) Global Public Health2017 DOI: 10.1080/17441692.2017.1407813
  • Benatar S R. A Divided World in Entropy. Society. Feb 2018. DOI 10.1007/s12115-018-0233-2
  • Benatar S, Upshur R, Gill S. Understanding the relationship between ethics, neoliberalism and poweras a step towards improving the health of people and our planet. The Anthropocene  Review 2018; 1–22. DOI: 10.1177/2053019618760934
  • Robson G, Gibson N, Thompson A, Benatar S, Denburg A.  Global Health Ethics:The Scope of an Emerging Field, 1977- 2015. BMC Medical Ethics (2019)20:53
  • Gill S R, Benatar S R. (2019): Reflections on the political economy of planetary health, Review of International Political Economy,                         DOI:10.1080/09692290.2019.1607769