Lepers Act


Published: 1912

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Lepers (CAP. 247 1

CHAPTER 247

THE LEPERS ACT

Arrangement of Sections
Section

1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.

PART I

LEPER HOMES

3. Cabinet may declare leper home.
4. Leper home.
5. Public Service Commission may appoint officers.

PART I1

ADMISSION TO HOME

Notification of leprosy.
Examination and segregation of leprosy.
Detention of leper after examination.
Mode of dealing with vagrant lepers.
Admission to asylum of leper able to support himself.
Leper sentenced to imprisonment to be committed to

home.
Power to apportion part of home for prisoners and

persons of unsound mind.
Power to order removal of leper.
Capture of lepers escaping from home.

PART 111

DISCHARGE FROM HOME

15. Governor-General may discharge from home.
16. Discharge of leper on certificate of Medical

Superintendent.

, LAWS OF ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

2 CAP. 247) Lepers

PART IV

PROHIBITION O F CERTAIN TRADES T O LEPERS

17. Prohibition of certain trades to lepers.
18. Sale of food &c., prepared by a leper.

PART V

LANDING OF LEPERS PROHIBITED

19. Landing of lepers prohibited.

PART VI

MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

20. Penalty on person trespassing on home.
2 1. Aiding leper to escape and harbouring of escaped leper.
22. Evidence required to prove leprosy.
23. Responsibility for maintenance of leper.
24. Right of entry of Chief Medical Officer.
25. Examination of infant of infected parent.
26. Actions against persons purporting to act under this Act.
27. Recovery of penalties.
28. Rules.
29. Forms &c.

SCHEDULE

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Lepers (CAP. 247 3

LEPERS

(12th June, 1912.) 1311912,
711913.
411918.
111928.
611929.

2711937.
211944.

S.R.O. 2211956.
1811989.

S.I. 3911989.

1. This ,Act may be cited as the Lepers Act. Short title.

2. In this Act- Interpretation.

"leper" means any person suffering from any variety
of leprosy.

"public place" includes any road, street, square,
sidewalk, alley, court, path, wharf, pier, jetty,
bridge, shop, court-house or any other place to
which the public have access or are admitted
without payment.

"District Medical Officer" means the Government
Medical Officer of the District in which the patient
resides.

PART I

3 . The Cabinet by order may declare any buildings :;iE:tl2
and land attached thereto to be a leper home and thereupon home.
such buildings and land shall be a leper home for the purposes
of this Act.

4. The buildings and land at Pearns in the island of Leper home.
Antigua now actually used and occupied as a leper home
together with such other buildings and land adjacent thereto
as may hereafter be erected or acquired for the same pur-
pose shall be deemed to be and the same are hereby declared
to be a leper home under this Act.

LAWS OF ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

4 CAP. 247) Lepers

Public Service
Commission may 5 . The Public Service Commission shall from time
appoint officers. to time appoint any duly qualified medical practitioner to

perform the duties of Medical Superintendent for any leper
home and such staff as may be necessary for its proper
upkeep, who shall receive such salaries as may be provided
by Parliament.

PART I1

Notification of
leprosy.

6. Where an inmate of any premises used for human
habitation appears to be suffering from leprosy then unless
such premises are an institution in which only persons suf-
fering from leprosy are received, the following provisions
shall apply-

(a) The head of the household to which such inmate
(in this Act referred to as the patient) belongs, and in
his default the nearest relation of the patient, and in
default of such relation any person in charge of or in
attendance on the patient, or in default of such person
the occupier of the premises, shall, as soon as he becomes
aware that the patient appears to be suffering from
leprosy, give notice thereof to the District Medical
Officer.

(6) Every Medical practitioner attending on or
called in to visit the patient shall forthwith, on becoming
aware that the patient is suffering from leprosy or a
disease suspected to be leprosy, send to either the Chief
or the District Medical Officer a certificate stating the
name of the patient, the situation of the premises, and
the disease from which, in the opinion of such medical
practitioner, such patient is suffering or suspected to
be suffering.

(c) The expression "occupier" in this subsection
includes a person having the charge, management, or
control of any premises or of any part thereof in which
the patient is, and in the case of a house, the whole
or any part of which is let to lodgers, the person receiv-
ing rent payable by the tenants or lodgers either on his
own account or as the agent of another; and in the case
of labourers, employees or others resident upon any
plantation, estate, farm or factory includes the manager

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Lepers (CAP. 247 5

or other person for the time being in charge of such
plantation, estate, farm or factory; and in the case of
a ship, vessel or boat, the master or other person in
charge thereof.

(2) Any person required by this section to give a notice
or certificate, who fails to give the same, shall be guilty of
an offence, and shall be liable on summary conviction to
a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars.

7. (1) It shall be lawful for the District Medical z;fz:;yd
Officer, on receiving a notice or certificate to the effect leprosy.
mentioned in section 6, to enter upon the premises where
the person named in such notice or certificate resides and
to examine him with a view to ascertaining whether he is
suffering from leprosy, and, in the event of admission or
examination being refused, a Magistrate may grant a warrant
authorizing such entry and examination, and, on such
warrant being exhibited, any person refusing to admit the
District Medical Officer to such premises or obstructing him
in making the examination aforesaid shall be guilty of an
offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine
not exceeding five hundred dollars.

(2) It shall be lawful for the District Medical Officer
to order any person named in any notice or certificate as
above mentioned to attend at a place within the district in
which such person resides to be notified to such person in
writing there to be examined, and any person refusing or
failing to attend at the place notified to him or obstructing
examination at any such place shall be guilty of an offence
and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not
exceeding five hundred dollars.

(3) Upon making an examination under the provisions
of this section, the District Medical Officer shall report
forthwith the result thereof to the Chief Medical Officer for
the information of the Minister.

(4) The powers, rights and jurisdiction conferred and
the fines, penalties, liabilities and duties imposed, by or under
the provisions of this section shall extend and apply to a case
where a District Medical Officer receives or acquires infor-

LAWS OF ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

6 CAP. 247) Lepers

mation that any person residing within his district is a leper
or shows symptoms from which it may be reasonably inferred
that he is a leper, in all respects as if such District Medical
Officer had received a notice or certificate such as is in sub-
section (1) referred to.

( 5 ) On receipt of such report as is mentioned in subsec-
tion (3), or of any notification or other information that any
person is a leper or shows symptoms from which it may
reasonably be inferred that he is a leper, the Chief Medical
Officer may order such person to be examined in such place
within the district in which such person resides as may seem
to him expedient, by two or more medical practitioners,
separately or together, who shall immediately forward a
certificate or certificates of their findings upon such examina-
tion in such form as may be prescribed to the Chief Medical
Officer for the information of the Minister, and shall cause
a copy of such certificate or certificates to be served upon
the person to be affected thereby immediately upon the same
being made.

Detention of
leper after

8. (1) If the patient is certified by two medical practi-
examination. tioners as suffering from leprosy, it shall be lawful for the

Governor-General, if he shall think fit, to order such patient
to be removed to a leper home, there to be detained until
lawfully discharged.

(2) If any person who is so certified desires to contest
the fact that he is suffering from leprosy, he may within seven
days after service upon him of a copy of the certificate or
certificates referred to in subsection ( 5 ) of the preceding
section inform the Chief Medical Officer that he intends to
challenge the said certificate, and the Chief Medical Officer
shall thereu~on cause the case to be laid before the Ma~stra te ..
of the district in which such person may be.

(3) The Magistrate shall thereupon hold an enquiry into
the case in camera, and shall-hear the Chief Medical Officer
and the person concerned and any medical or other evidence
that may be adduced, and counsel, if any, on both sides,
and he shall adjudicate thereon, and transmit to the Chief
Medical Officer his finding on the evidence, and cause a
copy thereof to be delivered to the person concerned.

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Lepers (CAP. 247

(4) If the Magistrate upholds the certificate, but not
otherwise, the Chief Medical Officer shall forward the same
to the Governor-General and the person named therein may
be dealt with as provided by subsection (1).

(5) The Governor-General may abstain from giving any
direction for the removal or detention-

(a) if the person suffering from leprosy is a closed
case and able to maintain himself outside a leper home
in a manner approved by the Chief Medical Officer;

( b ) if the person suffering from leprosy is an open
case and able to provide for himself outside a leper home
effective isolation in accordance with rules made under
this Act, and subject to security being given by bond
in the manner and for the amount provided in section 15.

.a

(6) For the purposes of this section-

"closed case" or "open case" shall mean a case certi-
fied as such by a Government Medical Officer.

(7) In the event of the disregard or breach of any such
rules the Governor-General may direct that the person
suffering from leprosy be removed to a leper home and
detained therein until lawfully discharged.

9. (1) It shall be lawful for any Magistrate on ~;~v;:~;ling
information upon oath of any credible witness, that any lepers.
person appearing to be suffering from leprosy has been
wandering about begging or collecting alms, or seeking
precarious support, or exposing his leprosy in any public
place, to summon such leper or supposed leper to appear
before him, or, if he thinks it necessary, such Magistrate
shall issue a warrant under his hand, directed to any police
officer authorizing or directing such police officer to cause
any such leper to be brought before him at a time and place
to be specified in such summons or warrant.

(2) Any police officer may arrest without warrant any
person appearing to be suffering from leprosy whom he finds
wandering about begging or collecting alms, or seeking
precarious support, or exposing his leprosy in any public

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8 CAP. 247) Leper5

place and shall as soon as possible thereafter bring him before
a Magistrate to be dealt with as hereinafter provided.

(3) If, on the hearing of the case, it is proved to the
satisfaction of such Magistrate that such person is a leper,
the Magistrate shall report his decision to the Governor-
General, who shall have power to proceed in the case of such
person in the manner provided in section 8. The Magistrate
shall direct that, pending the making of an order by the
Governor-General, such person be removed and conveyed
to a leper home by a police officer.

Admission to 10. The Medical Superintendent may, on the applica-
asylum of leper

to support tion of any leper able to support himself, admit such leper
himself. to any leper home; and such admission shall be on such terms

and conditions, as to payment for maintenance and in other
respects, as to the Governor-General may seem meet. Such
leper shall remain in the leper home until discharged by order
of the Governor-General as hereinafter provided.

Leper sentenced
to imprisonment

1 . When any leper is sentenced to imprisonment for
to be committed any offence, or for the non-payment of any money or penalty,
to home. the Judge or Magistrate inflicting the imprisonment shall

order that such leper shall be committed to a leper home
to undergo such imprisonment and to be detained thereafter
until discharged by order of the Governor-General.

Power to
apportion part of

12. (1) The Governor-General may, by proclama-
home for tion to be published in the Gazette, set apart any portions
prisoners and of any leper home as places in which lepers sentenced to
persons of

mind. imprisonment or who have been adjudged by a Magistrate
to be persons of unsound mind and proper subjects for con-
finement shall respectively be detained, and any such lepers
may be lawfully detained therein, any law to the contrary
notwithstanding.

(2) When the term of imprisonment expires or the
person of unsound mind recovers his sanity, then, unless
the Medical Superintendent certifies in writing that any such
person may be discharged without detriment to himself or
others, such person shall be retained in the home as an
ordinary leper.

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Lepers (CAP. 247 9

(3) The Governor-General may make rules as to the
management of such portions so set apart, and as to the treat-
ment and discipline of the persons detained therein.

(4) The portion set apart for lepers sentenced to
imprisonment shall be deemed and taken to be a prison, and
shall be under the sole control of the Medical Superintendent.

13. The inmates of any leper home may at any time Power to order
removal of leper. by order of the Minister, be removed therefrom to any other

leper home.

14. Every person received into a leper home under Capture of lepers
escaping from

any warrant or order issued under the provisions of this Act home.
shall be detained therein until he be removed or discharged,
and in case of escape may by virtue of such warrant or order
be captured by any officer or servant of such asylum, or
any police officer or other person and may be conveyed to
and received into and detained in such home.

PART I11

15. The Governor-General may, in his absolute
may discharge

discretion, order the discharge of any inmate of a leper home, from home.
not being a prisoner, under sentence of imprisonment, upon
security being given by some person on behalf of such inmate,
to the Attorney-General by bond in the sum of three thousand
dollars that such inmate shall be properly isolated, main-
tained -and treated in private, and shall not be suffered to
be at large.

16. Whenever it appears to the Medical Super- e$zz
intendent of a leper home that any inmate thereof is fit to certificate of
be discharged therefrom, such Medical Superintendent shall Medical Superintendent.
certify the same to the Governor-General; and thereupon
it shall be lawful for the Governor-General to direct that such
person shall be discharged, and the Governor-General may
in any such case impose terms of parole upon any leper so
discharged.

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10 CAP. 247) Lepers

PART IV

Prohibition of 17. (1) No leper shall carry on any of the trades or
certain trades to
lepers. callings specified in the Schedule, or any other trade or call-
Schedule. ing which the Cabinet may from time to time by Order to

be published in the Gazette, prohibit lepers from carrying on.

(2) Any leper who shall carry on any trade or calling
as aforesaid, and any person who shall knowingly employ
a leper in any such trade or calling, shall be liable to a fine
not exceeding five hundred dollars, and in addition thereto
any leper so convicted may be committed to a leper home,
to be detained there till discharged by order of the
Governor-General.

(3) Any person knowing himself to be a leper who shall
enter any public vehicle or lodge in any hotel, boarding house
or lodging house, or enter any shop where food or drink
is sold to be consumed on the premises, or bathe in any public
bath, or any river or stream or wash any clothes in or other-
wise contaminate such bath, river, or stream, and the pro-
prietor or person in charge of any such public vehicle, hotel
or boarding house, lodging house, shop or bath, who shall
knowingly allow any leper to enter the same shall be liable
on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding five hundred
dollars, and any leper so convicted may in addition thereto
be committed to a leper home to be detained there till
discharged by order of the Governor-General.

Sale of food &c.,
prepared by a

18. (1) If any leper sells any article of food or drink
leper. which has been prepared or handled by him or with which

he has come in contact, he shall be liable on summary con-
viction to a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars and may
in addition thereto be committed to a leper home to be
detained there until discharged by order of the Governor-
General.

(2) If any person knowingly sells any article of food or
drink which has been prepared or handled by a leper or with
which a leper has come in contact, he shall be liable, on
summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding one thousand
dollars.

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Lepers (CAP. 247 11

PART V

19. (1) Except with the permission of the Governor- Landing of lepers
General, no leper shall be allowed to land at any port of prohibited.

Antigua and Barbuda unless he shall be a native of Antigua
and Barbuda and the master or other person in charge of
any vessel who suffers or omits to prevent the landing from
such vessel, save as aforesaid, at any such port of any person
whom he knows or has reasonable grounds to suppose to
be a leper shall be liable, on summary conviction, to a fine
not exceeding fifteen hundred dollars.

(2) Every leper unlawfully landing in breach of the
prohibition in subsection (1) may be committed to a leper
home by a warrant under the hand of the Governor-General,
and may be detained therein for such period as may be
directed by such warrant.

PART VI

20. (1) Any person not having official business at a F:g2 on
leper home who, without permission of the Medical trespassing on
Superintendent thereof, goes within the limits thereof, shall home.
be guilty of trespass and upon being convicted thereof shall
be liable to a penalty not exceeding two hundred and fifty
dollars.

(2) Any person who purchases or receives from any
inmate of a leper home any food, clothing or other article,
shall, on conviction thereof, be liable to a penalty not
exceeding two hundred and fifty dollars.

(3) A complaint for an offence under this section may
be laid by the Medical Superintendent, or any person duly
authorized by him in that behalf.

21. Any person who shall aid or abet any inmate of Aiding leper to
escape and

a leper home in escaping or attempting to escape from such harbouring of
home before such inmate has been lawfully discharged escaped leper.
therefrom, or who shall harbour or hide, or assist in
harbouring or hiding, any inmate of a leper home who has

LAWS OF ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

12 CAP. 247) Lepers

escaped therefrom, shall, on conviction thereof, be liable to
imprisonment for any term not exceeding three months or
to a penalty not exceeding five hundred dollars.

Evidence
required to prove 22. (1) No supposed leper shall be convicted of an
leprosy. offence under this Act, and no person shall be convicted of . .

any offence with respect to theAlanding, and no costs shall
be recovered in respect of any supposed leper, except on the
evidence or certificate of a duly qualified medical practitioner
that such supposed leper is a leper.

(2) The certificate in writing of a duly qualified medical
practitioner shall be admissible as evidence under this section.

Responsibility for 23. No person who is legally responsible for the
maintenance of
leper. maintenance of any other person shall, by reason of the

leprosy and removal of such other person to a leper home
under the authority of this Act, be absolved from his responsi-
bility in that respect, but every such person shall be liable
to pay by weekly or other instalments such part of the
expenses of maintenance of such other person while a patient
in a leper home as the Chief Medical Officer, subject to the
approval of the Governor-General shall, looking to the
circumstances of the person suffering from leprosy, think just
and reasonable, and the Chief Medical Officer is hereby
authorized to demand payment thereof from such person,
and if not paid within ten days after such demand, the Chief
Medical Officer may proceed by action or suit for the recovery
thereof as a debt due to Antigua and Barbuda.

Right entry 24. (1) It shall be lawful for the Chief Medical Officer Chief Medical
Officer. or any person deputed in writing by him to enter at all

reasonable times any premises within which any person
suffering from leprosy is permitted to be isolated, or which,
within six months of such entry, have been inhabited by a
person suffering or alleged to be suffering from leprosy to
do such acts therein for the purpose of cleansing and disinfect-
ing the same as may from time to time be prescribed, and
any person refusing to admit the Chief Medical Officer or
other person to any such place or obstructing him in making
the necessary examination shall be liable to a fine not
exceeding five hundred dollars.

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Lepers (CAP. 247 13

(2') If the Chief Medical Officer considers such a course
\ ,

to be necessary, he may order the destruction of such premises
or of any articles or things in or about such premises or ex-
posed to infection, subject to the to the owners
thereof of a reasonable measure of compensation to be fixed
by the Cabinet.

25. (1) The Chief Medical Officer or any person f ; ~ : z t z ~ : : ~ ~
deputed in writing by him may at all reasonable times enter parent.
any premises where an infant born of a parent or parents
suffering from leprosy is maintained for investigation as to
the care and general health of such infant and any person
refusing to admit the Chief Medical Officer or other person
or obstructing him in making the necessary examination shall
be liable to a penalty not exceeding five hundred dollars.

(2) The Chief Medical Officer may by order in writing
under his hand cause any infant one or both of whose parents
are suffering from leprosy to be separated as soon as possible
from such parent or parents.

26. In any action against any person for anything Actions against
persons

purporting to have been done in pursuance of the provisions purporting to act
of this Act or of any rules made thereunder, there shall be under this Act.
judgment for the defendant unless the plaintiff has alleged
and proved that the action complained of was done by such
person maliciously and without reasonable or probable cause.

27. All fines and penalties imposed by or under this Recovery of
penalties.

Act, shall be recoverable summarily under the provisions
of the Magistrate's Code of Procedure Act and all penalties Cap. 255.
recoverable under any bond given under this Act shall be
recovered as Crown debts by the Attorney-General in
accordance with the law and practice for the time being
prevailing.

28. The Cabinet may make rules with respect to all Rules.
or any of the following matters-

(1) The appointment and duties of the Medical
Superintendent and staff of any leper home;

(2) The management, inspection, discipline, control and
punishment of the inmates and staff of any leper home;

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14 CAP. 247) Lepers

(3 ) The visiting of inmates by their friends;

(4) The appointment of official visitors, and the
periodical visiting of leper homes by them;

(5) The conditions under which persons suffering from
leprosy may be permitted to be isolated, maintained and
treated outside a leper home;

(6) The conditions under which patients in a leper home
may be permitted to be discharged on parole;

(7) The cleansing, disinfection or destruction of any
premises which have been or are inhabited, and any vessels,
articles or things which have been or are being used by any
person suffering from leprosy or which have been otherwise
exposed to infection;

(8) The care and maintenance of any infant separated
by order of the Chief Medical Officer from any parent
suffering from leprosy;

(9) Generally for the carrying into effect the provisions
of this Act.

Forms &c. 29. The Cabinet may prescribe the forms of certi-
ficates, warrants, bonds, orders, or other forms to be used
under this Act.

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Lepers (CAP. 247 15

SCHEDULE S. 17 (1)

Baker.
Barber.
Bootmaker.
Butcher.
Chemist.
Cook.

Dairyman.
Domestic Servant.
Fishmonger.
Nurse.
Tailor.
Washer.

or any trade or calling in which the person employed handles or
comes in contact with articles of food, drink, drugs, medicines,
tobacco or clothing in any form, or comes in contact with other
persons.

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