- LONDON (Reuters) - People who deliberately pass on the AIDS virus or other life-threatening
illnesses could be given life jail sentences under proposals unveiled by
the British government Wednesday.
- The Home Office (interior ministry) published
a consultation paper aimed at updating British laws to cope with incidents
in which people have been stabbed with syringes containing the HIV virus,
which causes AIDS.
- Infections such as salmonella and legionnaires'
disease could also be covered under a law that could impose a maximum penalty
of life imprisonment for the intentional transmission of serious illnesses.
- The Terrence Higgins Trust AIDS charity
welcomed the explicit differentiation in the proposals between deliberate
and accidental transmission of any disease.
- ``It is the very rare case of deliberate
infection which should be an offense. What is essential is that the law
is clear and not open to malicious misuse,'' said the trust's chief executive,
- The consultation paper will be distributed
to lawyers, health workers and other interested parties for discussion
before any law is drafted.