Thursday, December 30, 2004



Ignorant rural hicks

Ah, Selwyn. An honest, backbone of New Zealand farming community responsible for such leading intellectual lights as Jenny Shipley. The sort of good, decent people, who would call for an HIV-positive intellectually-disabled man to be removed from their community because he could be "wandering round and depositing his bodily fluids"...

Does anybody even remember Eve van Grafhorst?

7 comments:

You seem to have the wrong end of the stick here.
Not that I want to create discrimination against aids victims or intellectually handicapped people but two things

1) From a protection of society point of view
"Was prosecuted in 1999 for having unprotected sex with four men."
That would potentially make him a serial killer right? Even if the insanity defence was "accepted" (which is what seems likely)

"Truscott was "absolutely no risk whatsoever unless those residents choose to indulge in unsafe sex with him".”

In which case it would be his job to refuse - it is not the general public's job to use their psychic powers to tell that he has aids - AND if he does not refuse we have a major problem - the deaths should be on his or his immediate care givers head.

2) Now a trust (as opposed to a proper government facility) seems to be taking care of this person - bringing us to the point of the article - are they violating his rights? I.e. do they have the right to detain him? Surely the question should not even arise. It sounds like it may breach the council rules at least since to me - although I dont know his case in detail - "he is not a danger" and "he is not being detained" sound likely to involve a contradiction.

Posted by Genius : 12/30/2004 12:03:00 PM

That sounds about right, the hick from the sticks ignorance, still being in massive denial that anyone you meet may have HIV. What is so difficult to understand that you need to take care of your own health by having safe sex only, no matter who with? You would think that looking out for #1 was a particularly rural trait (why else do they vote National?)

Posted by Uroskin : 12/30/2004 01:32:00 PM

...one, it has been illegal to discriminate on the bases of both intellectual disability and organisms resident within the body (ie HIV/AIDS) since passage of the Human Rights Act 1993.

...two, the facts of the case are that Truscott has no insight into his behaviour due to his intellectual disability, and will have unsafe sex unless in preventative detention. However, one cannot become HIV+ unless one shares a shared hypodermic needle or has unprotected sex.

Ah, our enlightened countryside...

Craig

Posted by Anonymous : 12/31/2004 12:52:00 PM

> ...one, it has been illegal to discriminate on the bases of both intellectual disability and organisms resident within the body (i.e. HIV/AIDS) since passage of the Human Rights Act 1993.

In which case one has to ask why anyone has the right to detain him as mentioned in the article. You have created a rock and a hard place for your own argument by suggesting he is either not detained in which case he is a danger to the community ("he will have unprotected unsafe sex if not in preventative detention") or he is detained and it is a potential breach of his rights since once cannot discriminate against him. The easiest "solution" would be to fail to detain him somewhere relatively safe - but you would probably argue against that.

> ...two, the facts of the case are that Truscott has no insight into his behaviour due to his intellectual disability

That is even worse than if he did have insight - if he did he would only kill people he WANTED to kill (probably a limited number of people), if he doesn't he will just kill everyone. I am in fact less concerned about the first category of person.
Actually I think the dividing line between the two is pretty arbitrary since a person is by definition "insane" if they kill people in a normal context.

> However, one cannot become HIV+ unless one shares a shared hypodermic needle or has unprotected sex.

there being a solution (and I have to say an imperfect one since condoms do break)does not mean that we should rely upon that solution.
For example fewer women would be raped if they all wore burquas and stayed at home at night (not looking after your personal appearance might also help).
There will be some of them in NZ and they probably have a VERY low rape rate. That does not of course excuse the police or the city council being flippant about enforcing rape laws or refusing to improving lighting on streets or whatever other measures are required.

Posted by Genius : 12/31/2004 01:59:00 PM

Genius: It is not discrimination for the government to quarantine someone for public health reasons. That's a reasonable limit that can be easily justified in a free and democratic society, and is exempted as such by part 1A of the Human Rights Act 1993.

Of course, Truscott is no longer detained - which is what the backward residents of Selwyn are complaining about.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 12/31/2004 05:38:00 PM

As for detention: The Health Act 1956 gives local Medical Officers of Health the power to require persons to (among other things)

* "report themselves or submit themselves for medical examination at specified times and places" (S 70 (1) (e));
* "be isolated, quarantined, or disinfected as he thinks fit" (S 70 (1) (f));
* not leave their place of treatment or quarantine until they are free from infectious disease and have undergone preventative treatment (S 70 (1) (i)).

Truscott was originally detained under these provisions as a danger to others after he showed no sign of being willing to behave responsibly. However, he is no longer subject to such detention. Dr Alistair Humphrey, the local MOoH, has said that Truscott is "absolutely no risk whatsoever unless [local] residents choose to indulge in unsafe sex with him". Given the demonstrated hostility from the local community, that hardly seems likely.

It's difficult to see this as anything other than ignorance and intolerance. He's dangerous if he's "wandering round and depositing his bodily fluids"? What the fuck do they think he'll do? Masturbate into people's letterboxes?

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 12/31/2004 05:55:00 PM

Well it all comes down to the level of supervision I guess and the trust you me or the comunity have in that supervision. At some point you can say that the odds of anyone meeting him alone are close to zero and anyone with him will tell the person that he has aids. At that point he should be safe.

But I actually find this a bit worrying

> Truscott is "absolutely no risk whatsoever unless [local] residents choose to indulge in unsafe sex with him".

No kidding - that is how most people get killed by aids.
But the fact that the fellow entertains the possibility implies there may be issues with this actually occuring.

> Given the demonstrated hostility from the local community, that hardly seems likely.

Not htat it should matter - otherwise we will make being very interested whenever an aids person is in your community become an important survival trait..

> He's dangerous if he's "wandering round and depositing his bodily fluids"? What the fuck do they think he'll do? Masturbate into people's letterboxes?

Well he could just be unbelievably risk adverse. afterall he may plan on having sex with those letter boxes himself! But more seriously while I would rather not bet that any comunity is not generally ignorant - the above does not prove this one is because it says "Nearby resident Jim McKim" as opposed to "the community". A newspaper is hardly going to quote nearby resident who said something uncontroversial.

Posted by Genius : 12/31/2004 10:48:00 PM