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People with infectious diseases

  • David Carson
  • Jonathan Montgomery
  • Elsa Montgomery
Chapter
  • 6 Downloads

Abstract

People who carry or suffer from infectious diseases present special problems for the law. Normally it is possible to allow patients to preserve their individuality fully because the only people who may suffer from their ill-health are themselves (see Chapter 5). Where their condition is infectious, however, further considerations arise. There is then a public interest in preventing the spread of disease in the community. In addition, the health professionals involved with care may need to be protected. As with those whose mental state is unstable (see Chapter 7), the basic principles have to be adapted to meet these special conditions. This chapter discusses the legal provisions which seek to balance, these sometimes competing interests against each other. It will consider:
  • the circumstances in which the freedom of patients may be restricted in the interests of public health;

  • the circumstances in which the patient’s right to refuse treatment can be overridden to protect public health;

  • the obligations of professionals to care for patients with infectious diseases;

  • the special application of the principle of confidentiality to patients with infectious diseases.

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Copyright information

© David Carson & Jonathan Montgomery 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Carson
    • 1
  • Jonathan Montgomery
    • 1
  • Elsa Montgomery
  1. 1.University of SouthamptonUK

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