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Criminalizing Reckless and Intentional Transmission of STD

Dec 20, 2022 | 0 comments

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Dec 20, 2022 | Essays | 0 comments

The appellant’s appeal on the grounds of whether the decision in the case of Dica[2004] QB 1257 should apply when the transmitted disease is curable and not treatable suggesting that the decision applies to incurable diseases is attempting to undermine the impact of another venereal disease apart from HIV infection that is incurable and the state’s efforts to protect victims of transgressions and instill responsibility of individual’s and that of others health to control the rampant spread of venereal diseases as implied by Brewer (2005).
Some states do incur worse penalties in cases of incurable diseases but none excuse suspects in cases where the disease in question is curable like syphilis and gonorrhea (Brewer, 2005). Intentional and reckless transmission of venereal diseases is considered a crime as they inflict significant bodily damage converse to section 20 of the Offences Against Persons Act 1861 as stated by Cooper, S., & Reed, A. (2007). Therefore, liberating Snow would indicate dismissal of the effects of syphilis and classifying it as a transmission of just any other curable bacterial disease like the common cold which is not the case. Syphilis’ impact carries as much weight as that of HIV infection though they are less severe health wise but does not disqualify it from criminalization because they all result in dreadful physical harm although the degree differs. Moreover, the degree of impact should be considered in conviction to determine the type of penalty hence should not be confused with liberation as implied by Chalmers (2002).
Furthermore, the embarrassment and public disgrace caused by social stigmatization associated with the venereal disease that could trigger distress should not be overlooked as it is a long-term effect. Therefore, the risk the appellant exposed the victim to and the future psychological impact of the disease ought to be considered since the problem may have recurrent effects as described by Brown, Hanefeld & Welsh (2009). In addition, using curable as a basis for granting immunity, in this case, would display discrimination against people living with HIV infection as gonorrhea, syphilis, and others are also part of venereal diseases and yet the law does not specify the type of the disease hence the appellant should also be convicted as required by the law as explicated by Safken & Frewer (2007).
In conclusion, there should be no immunity for intentional and reckless transmission of curable sexually transmitted deceases because all those diseases do result in severe bodily damage as outlined by the law. The argument that the effects of the incurable and curable diseases differ and are less severe in curable diseases is lame as all venereal diseases are socially stigmatized resulting in emotional distress, do cause physical pain and acute discomfort yet could have been avoided if the appellant were responsible hence should be punishable. In addition, there is no guarantee that the appellant would have disclosed his HIV status as he presented elements of malice and selfishness suppose he was infected. Therefore, the chastisement ought to serve as a reminder to Snow to be more vigilant concerning his health and that of others and uphold the law.

Brewer, D.D. (2005).Case-Finding Effectiveness of Partner Notification and Cluster Investigation for Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)/HIV. Sexually Transmitted Diseases. doi:10.1097/01.olq.0000153574.38764.0e
Brown, W., Hanefeld, J., & Welsh,. J. (2009). Criminalising HIV transmission: punishment without protection. Reproductive Health Matters. doi:10.1016/s0968-8080(09)34477-8
Chalmers, J. (2002). The Criminalisation of HIV transmission. Sexually Transmitted Infections. doi: 10.1136/sti.78.6.448
Cooper, S., & Reed, A. (2007). Informed Consent and the Transmission of Sexual Disease: Dadson Revivified. Journal of Criminal Law. Doi 10.1350/jcla.2007.71.5.46
Dougherty, T.(2010). Sexually transmitted diseases. Detroit: Lucent Books.
Safken, C., Frewer, A. (2007). The Duty to Warn and Clinical Ethics: Legal and Ethical Aspects of Confidentiality and HIV/AIDS. Hec Forum. doi:10.1007/s10730-007-9051-4

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