南非的艾滋病否定论

南非总统塔博•姆贝基借助言论自由原则以捍卫他的艾滋病“否定论”,这是Casey Selwyn研究的一个案例。

艾滋病否定论”是一个运动,声称人体免疫缺损病毒(HIV)不会引起艾滋病,而抗逆转录病毒药物——迄今为止治疗艾滋病最有效的方式——是有毒的,是那些受到利益驱使的制药行业要推广的。南非是世界上艾滋病疫情最严重的国家之一,总统塔博·姆贝基、卫生部长和诸多高官在2000年之初都对“否定论”的概念表示认同,并把言论自由的原则作为正当理由,对艾滋病的起因和抗逆转录病毒药物的疗效表示质疑。公共卫生研究人员估计,在1999年至2007年,大约有343000人死于与艾滋病有关的疾病,这要归咎于南非政府对“否定论”的认可。

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读者须知:自动翻译由Google翻译提供,虽然可以反映作者大意,但不一定能提供精准的译意。

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    This is just a sad concept. These groups arer doing this I believe to have control. Giving a group of people hope will in some ways help sway their support into another direction. There has been no discoveries to treat Aids and if it was the populace would be cured.

  2. Denialism that causes enormous number of deaths should not be justified by being classified as freedom of speech. In a country where AIDS awareness is extremely important this kind of concept is not acceptable. I believe this is an example of a government manipulation rather than freedom of speech, that is why policy change is crucial. People have the right of treatment, the right to know the truth about the disease from a medical point of view, and not to be deluded with denialism that is not supported by facts. Raising awareness and intervention is crucial in this case.

  3. The man who sold “miracle medicines” was called Matthias Rath, and though he did not exactly sponsor Mbeki, he became very influential within his inner circle and certainly contributed to the scale of this problem. A journalist with the Guardian, Ben Goldacre, wrote articles to expose Rath’s actions and their deleterious effects, and Rath actually sued him for libel. For a very interesting and fairly shocking account of this case and of Rath’s role in promoting denialism, see the below chapter in Goldacre’s book Bad Science.

    http://www.badscience.net/2009/04/matthias-rath-steal-this-chapter/

  4. Denialism is modern tool of many politicians and non politicians: Holocaust denial, denial of climate changes secondary to human activity, denial of Darwin theorie’s, denial of the role of condom use as a tool to prevent aids, etc. I agree with Selwins’ opinion, but she (he?) forgot to state an important fact: Mbeki was sponsored by a german “investigator” (sorry, I forgot his name) who sold “miracle medicines” to treat HIV. Denial, in this case, is associated with corruption. Terrible binomium

  5. If I go with my gut instinct, I would be inclined to agree that in principle Mbeki could well be charged at the ICC. But there are a few reasons why I feel like this would not be the appropriate way to counter Aids denialism. International law in and of itself is a highly contested method in terms of how much justice it actually brings to citizens who have suffered at the hands of leaders. In practical terms, being charged post-facto would do nothing in terms of mitigating the actual damage that these policies wrought. The ICC cannot apprehend perpetrators and thus does not have the power to prevent any criminal acts. Secondly, in order to be charged at the ICC – according to its founding treaty, the Rome Statute – a crime must concern ‘the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole,’ and according the statute genocide is considered certain acts committed ‘with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.’ Mbeki thus could not be plausibly charged within this existing law.

    I know it seems a bit weak to say in hindsight that we should have tried harder. But I do believe that in the context of dealing with such an immediate problem – then or if it were to ever happen again – it would best be dealt with via high-level political pressure from as many nations as possible, particularly those with a political and/or economic relationship with the offending country. I don’t that leaders would not espouse dangerous views simply for fear of being tried at the ICC, and I think the price of attempting to control presidential policies in other countries – no matter how abhorrent these views may seem – is a bad theoretical precedent to set. In the past, dangerous policies have been at least partially countered with high-level leadership and other diplomatic actions such as sanctions. This action was absent during the Mbeki years, and I think that it would be the only realistic solution in this and other comparable situations.

  6. The “author opinion” here feels to me like a rather weak piece of hindsight – “we should have tried harder”. Would that really have made any difference? Are efforts to counter climate change denialism, endemic in some powerful governments today, making any difference?

    Perhaps what actually needs to happen in this sort of case is that people in positions of great power must be held to account for their actions. If 343,000 people really died as a result of these policies, why is Mbeki not facing the International Criminal Court? If we don’t want to see his views becoming taboo, we need to support some other way of dealing with their consequences.

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“言论自由大讨论”是牛津大学圣安东尼学院达伦多夫自由研究计划下属的学术项目。

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