Unclean!


A bill in Kansas which could theoretically allow the forcible quarantine of those who suffer from HIV/AIDS.

Ignore the spin on the article, it’s fantastic but the law in question allows for the quarantine of those who suffer a communicable disease and by chance “HIV/AIDS” comes under that category.

The main use of the law was to remove the need for a firefighter or a paramedic or other medical staff to gain a court order to get a victim’s blood tested for infectious disease had they been exposed to it which is sensible. It also helps control certain diseases. We do quarantine the few tuberculosis cases we see each year in the west with no such backlash.

However, Senator Marci Francisco tried to get an amendment to exclude those who are HIV/AIDS positive from it.

Here’s my issue. I think quarantine laws are vital. If you have Measles or some other communicable disease and insist on spending time in public then you are a nuisance at best and dangerous at worst. We should be able to quarantine your sorry behind. We do it to diseases such as TB and Bacterial Meningitis. However! AIDS is not a communicable disease in a conventional way and the quarantine for such individuals is “no blood donations, no unprotected sex and reverse quarantines”. HIV and AIDS patients are often quarantined in the final stages of life not to prevent diseases escaping but to prevent diseases from coming in. Remember, quarantines work both ways. It’s why Magic Johnson is alive. He can afford the best retrovirals and he can afford to live in a quarantine zone preventing exposure to everyday pathogens. Quarantining HIV patients may sound horrid but if they want to extend their lives then it does help particularly towards the final stages of disease.

Here is the thing though. We don’t need to forcibly do that.

The law to get a blood test done for exposure prophylaxis to protect firemen and medical professionals?

Yeah that’s an important law. I don’t think anyone should have a right to say no to such a request since it is a basic courtesy. If my blood splashes over your face and gets in your eyes then you shouldn’t have to go to court to get a order, I should give blood and have no right to say no to such a request because the request is fair. HIV status OR otherwise.

The issue here seems to be that the law has two parts. One for quarantining communicable diseases and Two for testing for exposure and these two ideas need to be taken mutually exclusively.

Comments

  1. otranreg says

    If my blood splashes over your face and gets in your eyes then you shouldn’t have to go to court to get a order, I should give blood and have no right to say no to such a request because the request is fair. HIV status OR otherwise.

    Outright refusal should be a punishable offence (especially if it results in infection): such decision affects public health and well-being of the victim.

  2. joey says

    I’m curious what you think about the right to bodily autonomy in regards to forcible quarantine laws. Does bodily autonomy apply in these cases?

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