TB Armando

An alcohol binging meth addict by the name of Armando Rodriguez has been jailed for not abiding by his needed treatment for his active TB:

Rodriguez has been noncompliant with his treatment and could become contagious as a result, Ginger Wick, nursing director for San Joaquin County, said in a letter requesting a warrant for Rodriguez’s arrest.

After failing one time to give himself the drugs, Rodriguez told a nurse he had gone on an alcohol binge and taken methamphetamine and didn’t want to hurt his liver, Wick said in her letter.

Rodriguez was arrested Tuesday and is expected to be arraigned Thursday on two misdemeanor counts of refusing to comply with a tuberculosis order to be at home at certain times and make appointments to take his medication.

This is a modern day case of Typhoid Mary, the woman who was responsible for multiple deaths in the early 20th century. The difference here is that Rodriguez appears to also have a drug problem, so I suppose a case can be made that his irresponsibility isn’t as motivated by douchiness as Mary Mallon’s was.

Many of those who do support criminal prosecution in the rarest of cases when public health is in jeopardy oppose the jailing of patients.

“I think it’s an error to confine someone in the criminal justice system for a public health crime,” said Lawrence Gostin, a Georgetown University public health law professor who drafted a model law adopted by several states struggling with the issue. “The whole intention is to protect the public’s health. It’s not to lay blame on someone.”

I can only get behind this in part. The criminal justice system is needed, but jail or prison isn’t appropriate. Rodriguez has to be quarantined until he is able to comply with public health interests. (Also, I disagree with Gostin’s implication that the purpose of the criminal justice system is to lay blame on someone. Its purpose is rehabilitation and public safety, not revenge.)

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3 Responses

  1. He is going to be quarantined and treated, they aren’t just planning to chuck his methed up drunk ass in jail with the rest of the deviants and say, “have fun, we’ll see you in a bit, try not to cough on people.”

    And I know how you feel, but punishment as a deterrent, is a perfectly valid use of the criminal justice system.

    This jack ass felt his running around coughing up blood and such like was perfectly fine, when in reality, it is no different from if he just took off and decided he would fire off random gun shots. Regardless of his intent, he knowingly and directly risked other peoples lives.

    Treat the TB, yes (and they are going to). Try and get him off meth if possible (not really our problem, as long as he isn’t bombing around spreading TB).AND punish the hell out of him so that the rest of our methed up fellow Americans with TB understand that not a single fuck will be given, except by Michael Hawkins, if they want to risk the lives of those around them.

  2. And I know how you feel, but punishment as a deterrent, is a perfectly valid use of the criminal justice system.

    Use does not equal goal.

  3. Generally, I think it’s better to deter people from endangering and harming others, rather than rehabilitate them after the harm has occurred. In fact, the less of that we do the better.

    Stops taking his TB meds to take meth, I see only a slight difference from him walking down the street and waving a gun around.

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