Indian J Sex Transm Dis Indian J Sex Transm Dis
Official Publication of the Indian Association for the Study of Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Indian J Sex Transm Dis
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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 63-67

Ethical and legal issues in AIDS

Skin Institute, Mehmoor Ganj, Varanasi - 221 010, India

Correspondence Address:
Vineet Kaur
Consultant Dermatologist and Venereologist, B-34, Brij Enclave, Varanasi - 221 005
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0253-7184.48726

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Law and medical ethics are two disciplines with a considerable overlap. Law lays down the established rule for conduct, the violation of which creates criminal or civil liability; ethics is more about expected conduct, that is, what ought to be? The two key issues in medical ethics are confidentiality and consent. In no other disease scenario do these two take on such importance as in HIV and AIDS. The fact that often patients confidentiality and public interest come into conflict further complicates matters. Whether it is with regard to marriage or employment, there is no National Law yet, as to which can be used as a guideline. Different High Courts and the Supreme Court have at different times given judgments that vary vastly, and so the ­matter remains confusing. A National Initiative has requested lawyers to collectively draft a bill, to provide clarity, consistency, and predictability. The article examines the dynamics of such issues, citing examples from India and abroad and the present status of the draft bill prepared in 2006 is that it has been and submitted to the government.

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