28 December: Ruling on Mandatory Premarital Testing... EIPR: Mandatory Testing Violates Human Rights and the Constitution, and Has Led to The Spread of Fraudulent Medical Reports

Press Release

20 October 2010

A decision on the lawsuit requesting the abolition of a state policy that requires couples wishing to marry to undergo a medical exam is due to be delivered on 28 December, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) said today. The case is being heard by the first circuit of the Court of Administrative Justice, headed by Judge Kamal Lamai.

“We presented a brief to the court yesterday detailing how the policy of mandatory testing violates human rights and provisions of the Egyptian Constitution, which upholds every individual’s freedom of choice, self-determination and right to privacy. We explained how the policy had led to the appearance and sale of falsified pre-prepared medical reports and how it discriminates against people with illnesses, and we asked the court to refer the matter to the Supreme Constitutional Court,” said Adel Ramadan, the EIPR’s Legal Officer. 

EIPR’s Right to Privacy Program filed a lawsuit (no. 657/63) on 12 October 2008 against the Ministers of Health and Justice, asking for a nullification of both Decree 338/2008 issued by the Minister of Health and Population, which requires medical testing for couples wishing to marry, and Decree 6927/2008 issued by the Minister of Justice, which requires couples to show marriage officials a medical certificate containing the results of the testing and record the test identification numbers on the marriage certificate. In the same lawsuit, the EIPR also asked that Article 31 (bis) of the Civil Status Law, which stipulates mandatory medical testing for couples wishing to marry, be referred to the Supreme Constitutional Court to determine its constitutionality. The lawsuit argues that mandatory testing violates constitutional protections for the right to privacy, the right to personal freedom and the right to marry, as well as being ineffective from a public-health perspective. The court began hearing the case in December 2008.