Just Coercion? Detention of Nonadherent Tuberculosis Patients

Authors

  • RICHARD COKER

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Public Health and Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London WC1E 7HT, United Kingdom
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Address for correspondence: Dr. Richard Coker, Research Fellow, Department of Public Health and Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London WC1E 7HT, UK. Voice: +44 (0) 207 612 7810; fax: +44 (0) 207 612 7812; Richard.coker@lshtm.ac.uk.

Abstract

Abstract: The need to balance the rights of individuals and to protect the public health will bring with it demands for the restriction of individuals' liberty. Three points should always be considered when these measures are adopted: (1) the lack of evidence that detention benefits the public health; (2) the risk that fundamental human rights may be overridden unnecessarily; and (3) that coercive practices may act as a smokescreen for improved, but more complex or more costly, public health responses to the causes of TB control failures. The policies of New York City and England are presented, and the argument is made that neither is just.

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