Washington Law Review


Kollin K. Min


Tuberculosis (TB) rates in the United States have increased dramatically over the past decade. The most disturbing aspect of the disease's resurgence is the rising prevalence of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), which is frequently fatal and is far more difficult to treat than conventional TB. To combat the spread of the disease, state legislatures throughout the country are rewriting outdated tuberculosis control laws. Many public health officials have suggested that in order to control MDR-TB effectively, modem TB statutes must grant the state the ability to detain even non-infectious patients who may develop MDR-TB in the future. This Comment examines the science and treatment of the new tuberculosis and argues that the detention of non-infectious TB patients will satisfy substantive due process concerns only if such detention is based upon overt acts of past dangerous behavior and if the state has attempted to employ less restrictive alternatives to treat the patient prior to detention.

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