News Extra

Prisoner with AIDS is released to die at home

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: (Published 15 December 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:1426
  1. Pat Sidley
  1. Johannesburg

    A South African prisoner who was convicted of murder and who has AIDS has won the right through the courts to die at home with his family.

    The case had come before the country's High Court after the Correctional Services Department (which runs the prisons) had turned down the prisoner's request. The department had wanted to seek a second medical opinion. The prisoner had not been treated with antiretroviral drugs, although this treatment should be available in the country's prisons.

    No accurate figures are available for the prevalence of HIV and AIDS in South African prisons. However, the number of deaths among prisoners from what is known as “natural causes” has risen steeply–deaths that AIDS activists …

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