Predicting dangerousness and the public health response to AIDS.

R. Macklin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

It is argued on ethical grounds that public health measures to control the spread of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) must rely on voluntary efforts, rather than on mandatory quarantine or isolation of infected individuals. Although state interference to prevent harm to third parties is accepted when criminal behavior is involved, application of the harm principle is controversial in other contexts. Using the analogy of involuntary commitment of the mentally ill, where prediction of dangerousness is based on past behavior, the author points out that testing for HIV antibodies can give a yes-or-no answer to whether a person is infected. However, because there is little basis for predicting whether the person will act to infect others, only people who are known wantonly to jeopardize others should be isolated. Macklin also examines the special situations of prisoners and prostitutes, as well as the social impact of mass invasions of privacy and denial of civil rights.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalThe Hastings Center report
Volume16
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1986
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Commitment of Mentally Ill
Dangerous Behavior
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
Public Health
public health
Quarantine
HIV Antibodies
Civil Rights
Sex Workers
Prisoners
human being
criminality
Privacy
civil rights
invasion
Social Change
prisoner
social effects
privacy
social isolation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nursing(all)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Predicting dangerousness and the public health response to AIDS. / Macklin, R.

In: The Hastings Center report, Vol. 16, No. 6, 12.1986.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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