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Author Topic:   Quarantines and Public Identification of Infected Individuals
Member (Idle past 753 days)
Posts: 1909
From: MO
Joined: 06-06-2007

Message 1 of 2 (439680)
12-09-2007 7:14 PM

Recently, it was reported that Mike Huckabee advocated the quarantine of HIV+ individuals.

"I feel homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural, and sinful lifestyle, and we now know it can pose a dangerous public health risk," Huckabee wrote in the (1992) questionnaire for The Associated Press, which reported the answer on Saturday.

"In light of the extraordinary funds already being given for AIDS research, it does not seem that additional federal spending can be justified," Huckabee wrote, according to the AP.

"An alternative would be to request that multimillionaire celebrities, such as Elizabeth Taylor, Madonna and others who are pushing for more AIDS funding be encouraged to give out of their own personal treasuries increased amounts for AIDS research."

"If the federal government is truly serious about doing something with the AIDS virus, we need to take steps that would isolate the carriers of this plague.... It is difficult to understand the public policy towards AIDS. It is the first time in the history of civilization in which the carriers of a genuine plague have not been isolated from the general population, and in which this deadly disease for which there is no cure is being treated as a civil rights issue instead of the true health crisis it represents."


In response to my post on this matter, Silent H had the following to say:

I'm not going to defend Huckabee's idiocy regarding the nature of HIV, or how research into it should be funded. However, he is correct that this is the only (or at most one of the few) communicable diseases that has been treated as a civil right, rather than as a disease.

The fear of what bigots would do with the information, has superceded the reality that at the very least IDENTIFYING carriers is the most important thing we should be doing.

I think quarantine at its outset might have been plausible, but it isn't anymore. At least not in a strict sense of quarantine. Identification and tracking (general, not realtime monitoring) of carriers of that virus is vital to containment of the disease, not to mention actually helping the people afflicted.

But of course not identifying the carriers, allows moralists (religious or otherwise) to blame sex and drug use as the cause, and prohibit their free use.

I responded:


Please provide:

1. Information re: the state "publicly branding" carriers of a communicable disease (within last 50 years in the United States).

Note: A single example (Andrew Speaker and MDR-TB) is not sufficient.

2. Information re: the state identifying and tracking carriers of a communicable disease (within last 50 years in the United States).

Note: Epidemiological tracking is not sufficient. That is at the community level. I mean at the individual level.

3. A definition of "civil rights" and how this relates to medical privacy.

I will start a new thread where you can post your answer.

I would like to discuss:

• Whether public identification and tracking of individuals with a communicable disease has happened recently in the U.S.

• The pros and cons of any such proposed identification/quarantine.

Given the substantial privacy issues raised by the collection, transmission, and retention of such information, I contend that any such program violates an individual's right to medical privacy.

Furthermore, I contend that collection of individual data and tracking of individuals is wholly unnecessary.

Epidemiological tracking is currently done at the community level and has proven effective in managing outbreaks here in the U.S.

Inactive Member

Message 2 of 2 (439816)
12-10-2007 3:21 PM

Thread copied to the Quarantines and Public Identification of Infected Individuals thread in the Social Issues and Creation/Evolution forum, this copy of the thread has been closed.
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