Commentary on an essay by Konnoth CJ. medicalization and the new civil rights

27 May 2020

This commentary, on an essay written by Konnoth, considers the stance taken and motivated by the said author whereby the term ‘‘medical civil rights’’ and the application thereof should be recognised, specifically in context of the ‘‘language of medicine’’. The author departs sharply from the existing American legal scholarship, by defending medical rights-seeking. In essence, the commentary concurs with the said author’s stance and illustrates the incidence and application thereof with examples of the Constitutional jurisprudence (case law) in South Africa as specifically pronounced by the Constitutional Court. The commentary concludes that the recognition of medical civil rights should find universal application and that underpinned values in Human Rights law (for example solidarity, justice and the right to dignity), relevant legislation, medical science and bio-ethics will be guiding sources in the recognition and application of medical civil rights to ultimately achieve transformation.