Compliance, Coercion, and Compassion: Moral Dimensions of the Return of Tuberculosis
Booker, Michael J.
Journal of Medical Humanities. 1996 Summer; 17(2): 91-102.
Since 1986, we have seen a rise in the occurrence of tuberculosis in the United States. Long considered defeated in this country, the disease is returning with distressing vigor. Outbreaks of MDR-TB, tuberculosis resistant to more than one medication, have been reported around the country. This article analyzes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Action Plan to Combat Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis, with particular focus on the moral dimensions of mandatory directly observed treatment (DOT) and involuntary quarantine. It is proposed that a moral response to the control of tuberculosis must be one which is sustainable and which can effectively curtail the spread of the disease at a minimal cost to individual rights.
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