A Namibian judge has ruled that three HIV positive women - sterilized by doctors without their consent, under duress, and without sound mind - had their rights violated. But he also ruled that there is no evidence to suggest that the women were sterilized because they are HIV positive.
Here are the details of this case:
Three women claimed that they opted to deliver children via cesarean, in order to reduce the chances of transmitting HIV to their offspring. Doctors told these women, that they would only be eligible for surgery if they agreed to be sterilized immediately after the cesarean took place.
Their lawyers say this tactic shows these women were coerced, and that this is a violation of their human rights.
And this is only the beginning:
“This decision is a significant victory for HIV-positive women in Namibia,” said Nicole Fritz, from the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC), which brought the case.
She said the three cases were “the tip of the iceberg” as many other HIV-positive Namibian women had been sterilised without their informed consent.
The lawyers said that one woman had only signed the document while she was in extreme pain during labour, while others had no idea what they had agreed to.
Lawyers say they have evidence that HIV-positive women are being forced to undergo sterilisation in Swaziland and parts of South Africa.
July 30TH 2012 - Judge Rules in These Women’s Favour!
This is disgusting. I’m glad to see that these women are standing up for their rights, and that there are people within their country (including Judge(s)) who are prepared to do the right thing and rule in their favour.