An Ethical Evaluation of the 2006 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Recommendations for HIV Testing in Health Care Settings
Celada, M Teresa
Merchant, Roland C
Waxman, Michael J
Sherwin, Angela M
The American journal of bioethics : AJOB 2011 Apr; 11(4): 31-40
When in 2006 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued revised recommendations for HIV testing in health care settings, vocal opponents charged that use of an "opt-out" approach to presenting HIV testing to patients; the implementation of nontargeted, widespread HIV screening; the elimination of a separate signed consent; and the decoupling of required HIV prevention counseling from HIV testing are unethical. Here we undertake the first systematic ethical examination of the arguments both for and against the recommendations. Our examination reveals that the ethical concerns raised by the critics predominantly pertain not to ethically suspect elements of the recommendations themselves, but to suspicions that they will be implemented improperly. It has not been shown that the recommendations cannot be implemented properly. Here we show that in the United States the recommendations are morally justifiable and that safeguards or regulatory oversight may serve to ensure that the recommendations are properly implemented.
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