AIDS and a Duty to Protect ?

ken_bromberg at ken_bromberg at
Sun Feb 5 13:16:26 EST 1995

In article <3gud7c$cuj at>, <tivol at> 
> Path:!psinntp!rutgers!gatech!!!pauling.wadsworth.or
> From: tivol at
> Newsgroups: bionet.general
> Subject: Re: AIDS and a Duty to Protect ?
> Date: 3 Feb 1995 23:11:40 GMT
> Organization: SUNYA School of Public Health, Albany, NY
> Lines: 22
> Message-ID: <3gud7c$cuj at>
> References: <3gsb7v$ltq at>
> Reply-To: tivol at
> NNTP-Posting-Host:
> In article <3gsb7v$ltq at>,
> barriuso at (Oscar Barriuso) writes:
> >
> >Mr. B ... [was] confidentially informed that his blood test 
> >was positive for antibodies to the HIV virus that causes AIDS.
> >[snip]	Mr. B then [snip] also said he was engaged.  Dr. T advised him 
to inform
> >his fiancee of his Dx.  But Mr. B refused to do so, saying that it would 
> >his marriage plans.
> >
> >SHOOULD Dr. T inform her of his patient's test results, or should
> >he protect the confidentiality of the therapeutic relationship ?
> >
> Dear Oscar,
> 	It's tempting to say "Save the poor woman's life by violation confi-
> dentiality," but Dr. T could lose his licence to practise medicine, could be
> sued for mega-$, and could even spend time in jail in some states.  The real
> problem is with the stigma attached to AIDS and the social and legislative
> consequences thereof.  Replace AIDS with hepatitis B, or some other serious
> communicable disease and ask the same question--in fact these questions seem
> not to arise with other diseases.
> 				Yours,
> 				Bill Tivol
There is a provision in the New York health code to have someone informed of a 
health risk to them without identifying the person who is causing the risk.

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