Bahrain: Proposed law would require people with HIV to obtain judges' permission to marry

Bahrain citizens suffering from a hereditary or incurable disease – such as sickle cell anaemia, HIV, and hepatitis – will need to get permission from the courts to get married under a new draft bill currently being considered by the government, it has been reported. Under the current law, in place since 2004, it is compulsory for all engaged couples to get a certificate from the Health Ministry that states they have undergone premarital check-ups, where they are tested for hereditary diseases such as sickle cell anaemia and thalassaemia, and incurable diseases like HIV, and hepatitis.

While the outcome of the check-ups does not currently restrict them from going ahead with the marriage, a new bill could mean those who test positive for any of the hereditary or incurable diseases will need to get permission from the courts to pursue the marriage, according to a report by Gulf Daily News. A draft of the law is now before the National Assembly for revision. However, the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs has already objected to the move and said it was against Sharia Law and basic human rights to stop anyone marrying someone they want to on the grounds of their health conditions. A doctor who is behind the proposal reportedly said “it was essential for judges to take the decision in such cases to prevent emotions from getting in the way.”