Yesterday, in Stockton, California, a judge denied a tuberculosis patient’s release request after he was jailed for allegedly refusing to take his medication. The judge elaborated saying ‘he was uncomfortable releasing Rodriguez because of his methamphetamine and alcohol use and past behavior.’ The man, Armando Rodriguez, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to misdemeanor charges of refusing to comply with a tuberculosis order.
Shall we discuss the issues with this?
1. What does previous methamphetamine and alcohol use have to do with being a tuberculosis patient?
2. If you don’t know what a tuberculosis order is, you’re not alone. Apparently there is a TB Control Branch that investigates and oversees all tuberculosis cases.
3. It concerns me greatly that a state government can impose any form of healthcare on a citizen of this country in the land of the free and jail them for failing to comply.
4. What if you are opposed to prescription drugs? TB treatment plans as prescribed by physicians can be extremely in-depth and invasive. Treatment plans range from 12 weeks to 9 months! Side effects from the drugs include: flu-like symptoms, musculoskeletal pain, thrombocytopenia, shortness of breath, wheezing, bronchospasm, urticaria, angioedema, and shock, among others. Which is worse? The sickness or the treatment?
5. According to the California Department of Public Health, in 2011, a total of 2,317 cases were reported (which is roughly 20% of all cases reported in the US in 2011). Are you seriously telling me that the state is in charge of medical care decisions for 2,317 people?
6. TB is a fairly serious medical issue. Of the 1,218 people in California that died from TB, only 1/4 of them died because they didn’t receive any treatment. So, 913 people died WHILE receiving treatment.
7. If you’re worried about the disease spreading, why would you place Rodriguez in a jail cell where he could easily infect other people as opposed to house arrest? I don’t like the argument that ‘TB-disease carriers are a threat to the community’. So are robbers, murderers, child molesters, [many of whom were released early because of overcrowding a few years back] people who knowingly spread HIV/AIDS and politicians who don’t tell the truth.
8. There is hardly a true threat. Most people infected with TB do not contract the disease or fall ill from the infection, as their bodies are able to fight off TB.
So, what your thoughts? Do YOU think people should be jailed for failing to take prescriptions? What’s next? Vaccinations? I certainly think it makes their state flag all the more comical.