Author Affiliation: Department of Pediatrics and Program in Medical Ethics, University of Wisconsin Medical School, Madison.
In this issue of THE JOURNAL, Gostin1
proposes revising the national policy regarding disclosure to patients when
a health care worker (HCW) is infected with the human immunodeficiency virus
(HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), or other blood-borne pathogens. The author
concludes, inter alia, that HCWs should no longer be required to disclose
their infection status to a patient. Moreover, the proposal suggests that
there should be no restriction on an HCW's practice based solely on serologic
status, and thus, there would no longer be a need for expert review panels
to make judgments about such practice restrictions. The author also maintains
that careful attention to infection control techniques coupled with practice
restrictions for HCWs who are impaired, who have exudative lesions, or who
have been involved in transmitting a blood-borne pathogen will adequately
protect the public's health.
Fost N. Patient Access to Information on Clinicians Infected With Blood-Borne Pathogens. JAMA. 2000;284(15):1975–1976. doi:10.1001/jama.284.15.1975
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