ERIC Number: ED334455
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Liability for Failure To Provide AIDS Training.
Smith, Michael R.
Jail Law Bulletin, n14 Jul 1990
The U.S. Constitution guarantees a right to privacy that requires deputies and jailers to avoid the unnecessary disclosure of sensitive information about a person. This privacy right especially covers Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome-related (AIDS) information, and it even protects the immediate family of persons infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The right to privacy is not absolute, but sheriffs and jailers must have a compelling reason before they reveal that a person is infected. This right to privacy is not surrendered or waived because an inmate tells a jail officer about his or her medical condition. HIV is not transmitted through everyday casual contact, and there is no reason for the information to be public. Federal courts will base their decisions about AIDS-related practices and policies on the most recent medical evidence. Deputies and jailers will come in contact with HIV-infected patients. Jailers who receive no training will make decisions based on ignorance and fear, and they will eventually violate prisoners' rights by disclosing the information. A department that does not train its officers on how HIV is transmitted, as well as the need for confidentiality, will be held civilly liable for those inevitable violations of privacy. (NLA)
Descriptors: Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, Communicable Diseases, Confidentiality, Correctional Institutions, Inservice Education, Legal Responsibility, Prisoners, Privacy, Professional Training, Public Health Legislation
Institute of Government, CB#3330, Knapp Bldg., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3330 ($2.00).
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: North Carolina Univ., Chapel Hill. Institute of Government.