Legal control measures for AIDS: Reporting requirements, surveillance, quarantine, and regulation of public meeting places

L. Gostin, W. J. Curran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Public policy makers can be virtually assured of judicial and political support for compulsory public health measures to control the spread of AIDS which are carefully based upon the current state of scientific understanding. Such measures would not be required 'to resort to close distinctions or to maintain a precise scientific uniformity', no matter how much this is desirable. What policy makers may not do - even under the judiciary's 'minimum rationality' review - is to base their measures on 'vague, undifferentiated fears... of some portion of the community' or on 'irrational prejudice', Worse, public health regulators may not succumb to 'a bare... desire to harm a politically unpopular group'. Even stricter scrutiny will be applied to public health measures which affect liberty, autonomy, or privacy of human beings. These measures should not be promulgated without searching examination as to public health need, specificity of the targeted population, and adherence to the principle of the least restrictive alternative.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)214-218
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Volume77
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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