The Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
Wofsy, Constance B.
New England Journal of Medicine. 1986 Apr 3; 314(14): 931-936.
Legal principles that may apply to controlling the spread of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) are reviewed to provide guidance to physicians, patients, public health officials, and the courts. Since there is little case law on AIDS, precedents are drawn from statutes, regulations, and court decisions concerning other communicable and venereal diseases. Topics discussed include the duty to report AIDS, the patient's right to confidentiality, and the responsibilities of physicians and patients for modifying patient behavior. At the governmental level, discussion focuses on the powers of public health authorities to institute compulsory programs such as quarantine, closing of bathhouses frequented by homosexuals, and screening for AIDS among selected populations. The authors believe that mandatory testing programs should be rejected until their benefits and costs are better understood, and that control of AIDS should rely for now on voluntary counseling and education. (KIE abstract)
Aids; Aids Serodiagnosis; Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome; Communicable Diseases; Confidentiality; Counseling; Duty to Warn; Education; Epidemiology; Freedom; Government; Government Regulation; Health; Health Education; Homosexuals; Law; Legal Aspects; Legal Liability; Legal Rights; Liability; Mandatory Programs; Mandatory Testing; Mass Screening; Patients; Physician's Role; Physicians; Privacy; Public Health; Quarantine; Regulation; Rights; Risks and Benefits; Responsibilities; Sexually Transmitted Diseases; Statutes;
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