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Mandated HIV Testing

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The first case of HIV/AIDS in the United States was identified in 1981; however a blood sample taken in 1959 confirms the existence of the disease at that time (History of AIDS, 2005; Gorman, 1998; Coughlin & Beauchamp, 1996). Initially, significant negative stigma hindered the public health processes that may have helped to identify and slow the progression of the disease within the society. HIV was viewed as a gay man’s disease, and diagnosis with the virus could have resulted in residential eviction, professional termination, social isolation, and other discriminatory practices (Beauchamp & Steinbock, 1999). The development of testing for HIV had additional negative connotations as some intended the results to identify homosexuals in order to fire them (Beauchamp & Steinbock, 1999). Due to the severe public reaction, public health information was gathered at a cost of extreme confidentiality; identifying the disease but not the individual carrying it. In this manner, the containment of the disease was slowed and transmission of the disease was not adequately countered. Continue reading »

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Ethical and Legal Implications of Autonomy

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Within the healthcare system, it is important for healthcare professionals to maintain ethical standards, including those that govern respect for persons, a primary component of which is autonomy, and beneficence. Continue reading »

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