Do HIV-positive pregnant women who plan on carrying their
children to term have a constitutional right to refuse HIV
hendersl at ix.netcom.com
Wed Jan 4 15:38:23 PST 2006
I think it would be terrible to mandate such treatment--talk about
Further, HIV meds themselves pose a risk to fetuses. They are hardly
benign drugs with no effects.
On Jan 4, 2006, at 1:32 PM, Volokh, Eugene wrote:
> Do HIV-positive pregnant women who plan on carrying their
> children to term have a constitutional right to refuse HIV medication?
> New Jersey Division of Youth & Family Servs. v. L.V., 2005 WL 3527274
> (N.J. Super. Ch. Aug. 3), seemed to suggest yes; the court also rested
> its decision partly on statutory grounds and partly on factual grounds,
> but it did say that "The right to make that decision [as to what
> medications she will take during her pregnancy] is part of her
> constitutional right of privacy, which includes her right to control
> own body and destiny."
> But I wonder whether the abortion right-to-privacy cases, to
> which the court referred, are quite the right analogy -- why isn't the
> better analogy the vaccination cases? The government may demand that I
> get a vaccine for a communicable disease that I likely do not yet have.
> Presumably if I were known to be infected with a communicable disease,
> and treatment would diminish my chances of spreading it to others, the
> government would if anything have even more power.
> Here, the mother is infected with a communicable disease; and
> though it's a disease that fortunately isn't spread by casual contact,
> it *is* often spread to unborn children. If the mother plans on
> carrying the child to term -- of producing a born, rights-bearing human
> being who might carry a deadly disease because of exposure through the
> mother -- why isn't mandating treatment of the mother at least as
> constitutionally permissible as mandating vaccination?
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