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Free Content Ethics and human rights considerations regarding involuntary isolation of people with TB

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Involuntary isolation of people with tuberculosis is rarely medically required, ethically permitted or justified on the ground of human rights law. The rare circumstances that do call for involuntary isolation must only occur once a number of conditions are met. These include just procedural protections and ensuring that all other options have been exhausted before resorting to involuntary isolation. This article is intended to outline for healthcare workers, policy makers and advocates the ethical reasoning behind isolation and involuntary isolation, as well as describing the requisite human rights laws that impinge on the topic. Finally, we present a list of conditions that must be met to justify involuntary isolation on the grounds of both ethics and human rights.
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Keywords: common good; harm principle; least restrictive means; reciprocity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Sydney Health Ethics, Sydney School of Public Health, Marie Bashir Institute of Infectious Diseases, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia 2: Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, Chicago, IL, USA 3: Vladimir Regional TB Control Center, Vladimir, Russia 4: Global TB Programme, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland

Publication date: May 1, 2020

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on lung health world-wide.

    To share scientific research of immediate concern as rapidly as possible, The Union is fast-tracking the publication of certain articles from the IJTLD and publishing them on The Union website, prior to their publication in the Journal. Read fast-track articles.

    Certain IJTLD articles are also selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. These are available on the Union website.

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