Religion vs. The Law. This is a debate that has been raging in the courts of Costa Rica following the decision by Luis Carlos Nunez Herrera to contest an obligatory blood test required for renewing and applying for a driver’s license.
The 25 year old from Desamparados, San Jose argued that he should not be forced to take blood test as it conflicted with his religious beliefs. The Jehovah ’s Witness is quoted as saying that it violates his right to free worship as his religion forbids a test such as this one.
It is now a requirement by law in Costa Rica that anyone looking to renew or apply for a driver’s license must submit a blood test so that a note of their blood group can be included in the information on their license. The reasoning behind the decision is that with this information, emergency services can provide better assistance to victims of serious accidents and ultimately save lives.
In addition to blood type, licenses also request that drivers provide details on whether they would be willing to donate their organs should they die in an accident. The system is similar to that in several countries including U.S.A where in certain States drivers include their blood type and donor information on their license in case of the unfortunate event of an accident.
However Luis Carlos Nunez Herrera’s case brings new debate to the case and after his appeal was rejected by the Costa Rican Judicial system. Whether one should be exempt from laws due to their religious beliefs is not a new dilemma people face around the globe and indeed in is a touchy and controversial topic.
However in Costa Rica at least, the law has spoken has testified that in this case religion is not an acceptable reason to not forgoing the tests.
|Written by Claire Saylor|
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Filed under: Costa Rica News on December 12th, 2008