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Join Date: Dec 2004
Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 06:05PM
Clearly he is an addict, so we can't expect reason or concern for others in every decision he makes.
My opinion is that there are times when individual freedoms can be overridden by the public good, and this is probably one of them, but those reasons need to be clearly articulated. I also agree with the law professor that the concern is protection of public health, not punitive measures towards this man. We generally have the choice to accept or refuse medical treatment, and the state can only force treatment when it is clear that not to do so would pose a risk to the public.
Therefore, I think the man should be confined in a hospital (NOT jail) and assessed. If there are reasonable grounds to believe that he cannot comply with his meds, then he should be kept in a health care setting until he is no longer contagious (and also offered treatment for his addictions.) I don't think that he has committed a criminal offence by refusing to ingest something into his own body. I am not sure he has demonstrated an intention to do anything to anyone else by that act, given his circumstances.
Jail is not the place for this. Otherwise they might as well start locking up everyone with STDs who they think might have sex, everyone with anger problems who doesn't take management who might turn violent, etc.
Also, I'm not sure the reason is relevant. What if someone went off the meds because they were depressed and suicidal, or unable to take them due to lack of mental capacity, or some other reason? Should they still be locked up? The issue is that no matter what their reason, the public is at risk because they didn't take the meds, so the focus should be on public safety and not whether so and so is a bad person or has a good reason.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali
Last edited by Amneris; 05-17-2012 at