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For some of those who are younger who frequent Daily Kos, it may be  hard to remember the way the world was in the middle 80s in relation to HIV/AIDS.   Scary, uncertain and with no real understanding at least presented to the public, fearmongers hunted for everything from national quarantines to reporting systems of those who were infected.

But, thirty years pass, and we all move on.. at least I thought so.


A bill working its way through the Kansas Legislature is getting national attention. The original version of the bill would have allowed the state to quarantine people with HIV or AIDS.

The latest version of Senate Bill 2183 has lines through much of the text. The bill had to be amended after questions were raised as to whether those living with the disease had to be kept away from the general public.

In a victory.. of sorts, Kansas has decided against quarantines of those with HIV.   Unfortunately, we decided that in a house session this week.. March of 2013.

It's a bit astonishing to think of the methods we have decided to use in relationship with treatment of a now known illness.   Here in Kansas, our methods have ranged from removing access to condoms, limiting access to facilities that could provide them, preaching abstinence and demonizing gay people.

But, when that doesn't work, we can always turn to our state legislature to decide the appropriate medical path, considering their vast medical experience of.. ok, well, hmm.

"We're expecting that it will make it very clear that is never medically necessary or reasonable to quarantine or isolate someone with HIV or AIDS," she said.

The initial language in the bill raised a red flag for Gary Brunk, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union.

"In some ways, this is a throwback to the early days of the HIV epidemic where people had crazy ideas about casual transmission of HIV," Brunk said.

But even with the new changes, Brunk is still unsettled.

"We remain concerned primarily because we think that this has a real potential for giving local health officials a tool to discriminate against people infected with HIV," he said.

It can't be all that bad.  I mean, come on.. it's 2013.

“They didn’t get that whole idea of being discriminated against,” said Cody Patton, Positive Directions Inc. “And they didn’t get that that stuff still happens today. My concern is that there’s a lot of people in this state that are still fearful of HIV that don’t look at factual information.”

Lawmakers in both the House and Senate are currently working together to get this law passed, so expect them to vote on it in the next few weeks.

The good news about Kansas is we are all about distributing scientifically factual information to patients from our legislators.  Like our new legal requirement to tell women that abortion leads to breast cancer.

f the Kansas House of Representatives has its way, doctors will have to tell patients seeking an abortion that the procedure causes breast cancer. The Wichita Eagle reported on March 19, 2013 that House Bill 2253 passed the first round of votes. It is disturbing that this bill, if passed, will require doctors to give patients incorrect and misleading information. Other states, including Arkansas, have recently passed strict laws regulating abortions. If H.B. 2253 becomes law, other states may follow Kansas’ lead.
So, having our legislature determine the appropriate instructions for people about HIV/AIDS from a crowd that has this profound access to medical knowledge seems like  a good idea.

Or not.

Originally posted to tmservo433 on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 08:20 AM PDT.

Also republished by HIV AIDS Action.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (18+ / 0-)

    Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

    by Chris Reeves on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 08:20:44 AM PDT

  •  They have to do crap like this (10+ / 0-)

    They want to stir up the rural fundies who voted for them in droves so they won't notice that an AT&T-written bill just passed the Kansas Senate that will allow AT&T to abandon rural communities.  Brownback will sign it any day now.

    Yes, AT&T actually wrote the bill and amendments were sent to their lobbyists for review - and consumer groups were not given the same courtesy.

    AT&T also gets to take $5m out of their Lifeline service for the rural poor.  

    They expect everyone in rural communities to switch over to an expensive wireless plan.

    So, throw out a ridiculous social issue to get them worked up so they won't notice that they've just been sold down the river.  Evil genius.

    you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows

    by Dem Beans on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 08:39:55 AM PDT

  •  This leads to an interesting question. (7+ / 0-)

    If they mandate that a doctor must lie to a patient,
    and the doctor refuses to do so, what can they do to enforce it?

    If they approved the mandatory lying by doctors, and doctors told additional lies, how would they restrict the particular lies the doctors were allowed to tell, if a doctor was prone to embellishment?

    Time is a long river.

    by phonegery on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 08:47:43 AM PDT

    •  It would make an interesting court case (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catte Nappe, phonegery, Syoho

      All a doctor would need to do would be to say "Look. You're asking me to give information to a patient which I know to be false. So you have one law making me do something while another law requires that, in order to maintain my license I must practice medicine in a competent manner. Which of these is more important to you because I can't comply with both of them." And if a state court isn't willing to overturn the law on that basis, it will need to go to a federal court.

    •  First Amendment trumps (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Syoho, Praxical

      There was a SCOTUS decision several decades ago that held that the state (NH, of course) could not require someone to display "Live Free or Die" on his license plate. (The guy was a Jehovah's Witness and felt it violated his religious beliefs -- JWs have been responsible for so many of the good 1st Amendment cases.)

      The theory is that the right of free speech also includes freedom from compelled speech where the state mandates a particular script.

      It wouldn't be hard to extend that to the state not being able to require a medical professional, in a medical setting, to say a bunch of words that are demonstrably false and contrary to that professional's training and expertise.

      But the right-wingers don't care; these laws are just as useful for propaganda and fund-raising whether the courts ("Liberal activist judges!!!!!") strike them down or not.

  •  Too true (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rogneid, Syoho
    “...My concern is that there’s a lot of people in this state that are still fearful of HIV that don’t look at factual information.”
    Alas, that group appears to include the legislature.

    "Do it in the name of Heaven; you can justify it in the end..." - Dennis Lambert & Brian Potter

    by pragmaticidealist on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 08:57:54 AM PDT

  •  There has got to be some backstory here (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slksfca, tmservo433, Syoho
    Sub. for HB 2183 would amend existing law to expand
    the scope of the rules and regulation authority of the
    Secretary of the Department of Health and Environment
    (Secretary) relating to the protection of public health and for
    the control of infectious or contagious diseases and would
    designate those changes to law as “Chy J. Miller’s law.”
    The representative of
    the Kansas Board of EMS stated the bill would incorporate
    new language in several statutes that define, clarify, and
    identify updates to information and processes that address
    the management and follow-up of exposure to communicable diseases by emergency first responders, whether fire, law enforcement or emergency medical services. The representative said the bill would ensure providers found to be affected are made aware of the exposure and a treatment regimen is implemented.
    Google the name, and you get the recent obituary of the death March 7, 2013 of an EMS worker named Chy Miller.

    "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

    by Catte Nappe on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 10:43:31 AM PDT

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