HIV/AIDS, obesity and stigma: A new era for non-discrimination law?

MCTIGUE, Peter, FLINT, Stuart W. and SNOOK, Jereme (2018). HIV/AIDS, obesity and stigma: A new era for non-discrimination law? In: SARAT, Austin, (ed.) Studies in Law, Politics, and Society. Studies in Law, Politics, and Society, 76 (76). Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 51-74.

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This aim of this paper was to explore commonalities between HIV/AIDS related conditions, obesity and other disabling impairments as health-related barriers that limit opportunity and advancement in society and the workplace. Taking a number of examples from original fieldwork and European Union and United Kingdom law, we posit that ‘disability discrimination’ under European Union law remains an indefinite, imprecise and incomplete area that requires greater alignment with the social model of disability. The principle attributes of societal discrimination towards people living with HIV and obese people are that these conditions are perceived to be primarily or in some instances, solely caused by controllable factors related often to behaviours and lifestyle choices. Strong beliefs that these conditions are controllable, is perceived as a justification and in some instances encouragement for the creation of stigma and discriminative behaviours that are unjust and uninformed. The structure of the paper is as follows. First, this paper postulates how and why stigma exists towards both individuals with disabilities and also obese individuals and people living with HIV; second, reviews the legal framework on disability discrimination in both United Kingdom and European Union courts that are directly relevant to the concepts of obesity and HIV-AIDS; third, presents critical thoughts as to the extent to which emerging decisions of the Court of Justice of the European Union concerning obesity and HIV-AIDS accord with the social model of disability; and fourth, offers an analysis of the implications of the United Kingdom and European framework and suggests possible interventions in this area.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: Book Series ISSN : 1059-4337
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Law Research Group
Departments - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities > Department of Law and Criminology
Page Range: 51-74
Depositing User: Jereme Snook
Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2017 14:08
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 00:00

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