My colleagues and I often care for patients suffering from hallucinations, prophesying, and claiming to speak with God, among other symptoms—in mental health care, it’s sometimes very difficult to tell apart religious belief from mental illness…. Our conclusions frequently stem from the behaviors we see before us. Take an example of a man who walks into an emergency department, mumbling incoherently. He says he’s hearing voices in his head, but insists there’s nothing wrong with him. He hasn’t used any drugs or alcohol. If he were to be evaluated by mental health professionals, there’s a good chance he might be diagnosed with a psychotic disorder like schizophrenia. But what if that same man were deeply religious? What if his incomprehensible language was speaking in tongues?
I just received the following message from the Treatment Action Campaign:
The Treatment Action Campaign congratulates Justice Edwin Cameron on his appointment to the Constitutional Court.
Justice Edwin Cameron has been appointed to the Constitutional Court of South Africa by President Kgalema Mothlanthe. Edwin Cameron has been described as the best legal mind of his generation. His career as an anti-apartheid lawyer opposed forced removals, military conscription, unfair labour practices and censorship. Cameron was one of the first judges appointed by President Nelson Mandela and has built a substantive jurisprudence on equality, rights to social security, freedom of expression and the rights of rape survivors.
Justice Edwin Cameron is a gay man who lives openly with HIV/AIDS. His appointment to the highest court in our country is an affirmation of the Bill of Rights, the rule of law and non-racialism.
Justice Cameron replaces Justice Tholekile Madala whose term ended this year and has retired.
A good appointment. Four appointments to go. Thabo Mbeki must not be happy because Justice Cameron has been one of the first to speak out forcefully and bravely against his views on HIV/AIDS. And our first opennly gay man on the highest court. What a nice Christmas present.BACK TO TOP