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HPCSA given deadline to provide Noakes' lawyers with crucial documents

The HPCSA must submit written reasons why disciplinary proceedings were instituted against Tim Noakes.

The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) is investigating a complaint against the Banting diet advocate, Tim Noakes, after he advised a mother via Twitter, to wean her baby onto a low carb/high fat diet. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) has been given until Friday to provide sports scientist Tim Noakes's legal team with crucial documents.

Noakes is facing a hearing into his professional conduct after a complaint was lodged with the council over a tweet in which he advised a mother to wean her baby on a low carb/high fat diet.

Hearing chairperson Joan Adams has ruled the (HPCSA) must submit written reasons why disciplinary proceedings were instituted against Noakes in the first place.

Another point of discussion yesterday circled around whether there's a difference between giving medical advice and sharing medical information on a public platform.

A heated debate between expert witness Professor Willem Pienaar and Noakes's lawyers ensued over whether a medical tweet creates a doctor-patient relationship.

Pienaar questioned Noakes's professionalism, by asking how the sport scientist could give advice on a social media platform without consultation.

The bio-ethicist went on to tell the hearing Noakes should have told the mother to see a doctor instead of encouraging her to wean her baby on a low carb/high fat diet.

Pienaar said Noakes did not know the baby's age or medical history at the time and warned his conduct was not good for the medical profession.

The hearing resumes this morning.

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