© 2000 cstnews.com
AIDS Carriers Have No Right To Privacy

By Dr. Don Boys
© 1988 Cornerstone Communications

Mary Mallon was born in Ireland and later worked as a cook in New York. She was the first known carrier of typhoid fever in the USA, and although she recovered, she was still a carrier and continued to spread the disease to at least 53 persons. She refused to stop working as a cook and was confined to a hospital where she died 20 years later.

Typhoid Mary, as she was called, did not have a right to privacy because she was a threat to society. AIDS carriers fall into the same category. Physicians who falsify death certificates, doctors and others who refuse to report carriers, health officials who underreport AIDS statistics should be fired and lose their licenses.

Notre Dame law professor Charles Rice says, "This is a public health issue. Doctors are not protected by the privacy shield." When dealing with a fundamental right, Rice says, "Restrictions must be justified by a compelling state interest and it must be the least restrictive method available."

The state has a compelling interest in protecting the public through identifying, listing, tracing, and, if necessary, quarantining AIDS carriers.

Why is AIDS treated differently from syphilis and gonorrhea? Could it be because fornicators are not as well organized and financed as sodomites (who constitute about 73 percent of AIDS carriers)?

Syphilis patients didn't receive protected or handicapped status. Syphilis was known to be sexually transmitted, had a long incubation period, was deadly, and incurable--like AIDS. But syphilis carriers did not have a right to privacy nor a right to infect people. Most doctors were not hesitant to report new cases to authorities. Carriers were even asked to name their sex partners! Where were the civil libertarians then?

AIDS carriers are working in our schools and sitting in classes, and we taxpayers don't have a right to full disclosure. Some hospitals refuse to identify AIDS patients, thereby exposing nurses, orderlies, and others to a killing disease.

How many Typhoid Marys are making the salads in your favorite restaurants and are defended in that right by thumb-sucking liberals? Public officials seem determined to keep AIDS carriers secret and serene at the expense of keeping the public safe and secure.

It is criminal to expose innocent people to the AIDS virus, especially until all the facts are in regarding casual contact. Those who permit, preach, and prescribe the right to privacy for AIDS carriers are guilty of child abuse, malfeasance, and stupidity. Like AIDS, there's no cure for stupidity.

I've been asked if this position is in the spirit of the Constitution. Thomas Jefferson said that sodomites "should be punished, if a man, by castration, if a woman by cutting through the cartilage of her nose of one-half inch in diameter at least." Jefferson would not accept the dubious doctrine of privacy for an AIDS carrier. The public welfare must take precedence over a right to privacy.

Copyright 1988 Don Boys, Ph.D.

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