LONDON (AP) - A British judge ruled Friday that the 4-month-old
daughter of a woman who is HIV-positive should be tested for
the AIDS virus against her parents' wishes.
Judge Sir Nicholas Wilson called the case for testing
"This baby has rights of her own," said Wilson, sitting in the
family division of the High Court.
"This case is not about the rights of the parents, and if, as
the father has suggested, he regards the rights of a tiny baby
to be subsumed within the rights of the parents, he is wrong,"
the judge said.
The baby's parents, who have not been identified, refused to
have their daughter tested, contending she is perfectly healthy
and that they should be able to decide what is best for her.
Social workers for the Camden Council in north London used a
1989 law protecting children to mount a legal challenge to
The girl's mother, who was diagnosed as HIV-positive in 1990,
believes scientists are mistaken in viewing HIV as AIDS' sole
cause. Her father, who has tested negative for the virus,
practices alternative medicine.
The judge said the parents "cling to their theories with the
intensity of the shipwrecked mariner who clings to the plank of
The couple might appeal the ruling, according to the mother's
lawyer, Alison Burt.
If the girl is found to be HIV-positive, she could be treated
with a combination of drugs. If found to be negative, her
mother would be urged to stop breast-feeding in a bid to