Adolescence, Bodily Integrity And The Manifestations Of Agency

Bodily integrity, a current controversy, is said to be the inviolability of the physical body. Essentially, the physical body of one person should not be subject to the infringement by another person - it should not be touched or interfered with, without the consent of the person whose body it is.

Fundamentally, each person, even children, have the right to autonomy as well as self-determination over their own body.  Bodily integrity is a right that speaks to agency one exercises over their own body and is subject to each’s expression over their body.

Social scientists argue this to be the most important civil right, making its violation require justification to a greater extent than interference with autonomy. Bodily integrity is specifically about the self, whereas autonomy relates more to decisions about the self. It enhances any claims to bodily autonomy. Bodily integrity interacts with bodily autonomy, and are usually used interchangeably by the courts, but the two concepts differ. Body autonomy is the exercise of one’s choices and decisions over their own body. A person’s subjectivity and/or agency is experienced through the body, which can be enhanced and is fluid.

Editor's Comment
Routine child vaccination imperative

The recent Vaccination Day in Motokwe, orchestrated through collaborative efforts between UNICEF, USAID, BRCS, and the Ministry of Health, underscores a commendable stride towards fortifying child health services.The painful reality as reflected by the Ministry of Health's data regarding the decline in routine immunisation coverage since the onset of the pandemic, is a cause for concern.It underscores the urgent need to address the...

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