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Health, Medicine, Nursing
Article Critique
English (U.S.)
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Tuberculosis, Public Health, and Civil Liberties (Article Critique Sample)


Article Critics revolving around Tuberculosis, Public Health, and Civil Liberties


Article Critique: Tuberculosis, Public Health, and Civil Liberties

The article ‘Tuberculosis, Public Health, and Civil Liberties’ is one of the preeminent publications in the journal series ‘Annu Rev. Public Health’ that really captured both historic and systematic analyses of the discourse of Tuberculosis, public health policy and civil liberties then put them into context. The authors Beyer and Dupuis were by the time very prominent scholars in the field. This article addresses various discourses and employs counter-current arguments to enlighten the readers through a vivid analysis of the subject. It is presented through a historic lens but presented as a scientific masterpiece because it delves into the physiological and demographical aspects of the epidemic of Tuberculosis in the United States. Below is a very vivid analysis and critique of the paper borrowing also broadly from recent reviews and writings on the same topic.
It is always the prerogative of the judicial arm of the government to evaluate from time to time the manners of legislations that are congruent with the economic and social or political circumstances prevailing in the country. The authors believe that it is after the rigors of such an evaluation is executed that it is possible to determine what policies and instruments of law would advance the nation on an optimal path of progress and development. Mattes of public health border on great risk and thus regulations and laws must always be upbeat with the national needs and priorities (Oliver, 2006). In the case of Tuberculosis, an airborne communicable disease, the support to patients to seek medication and other incentives are often enacted alongside restrictions for patients, which could often infringe or limit civil liberties. At times when the nation is financially constrained and there might never be adequate funds to give Tuberculosis patients to seek care, local government or state and federal legislations may be enacted to criminalize diagnosed patients who are not seeking medication because their presence in society facilitates the infection of uninfected individuals (Beyer & Dupuis, 1995). In this article critique, a keen interest is taken to make argumentation for both the protection of individual civil liberties and for the general good of the public health practices and policies in the light of judicial precedence and policy.
Despite the fact that tuberculosis has remained one of the leading causes of death for many generations, the authors suggest that its eventual elimination has been elusive too. The disease manifests in mild forms in many patients and only attains infection to a considerable minority when the immune system of the carrier is intensely compromised by a number of factors. The disease exhibits epidemiological characteristics that closely associate the disease with poor congested dwellings of coloured communities in the United States. Policy considerations and legislation are characterised by ethnic considerations because nationalistic policies are political in nature (Fidler, Gostin & Markel, 2007). This aspect is one factor that have occasionally emerged but never made itself prominent as a result of minority and depravity of these categories of the American populations and public policy orientations. It was claimed that the resurgence of the diseases was the result of infectious reserves afflicting the disadvantaged communities that sparked the public menace. From 1985 to the early 1990s a dramatic increase in the rates of infection and overall prevalence increased dramatically among the African Americans, Hispanics, the Asian/ Pacific Islanders while the rates declined among other ethnic communities (Beyer & Dupuis, 1995; Markel, Gostin & Fidler, 2007). The fact that there is considerable correlation between Tuberculosis infections and HIV/ Aids is another worrying public health concern with an ethnic dimension and consequent policy prerogatives. In the same scenario, the multi-drug resistant strain is often the leading because of mortality rates among these depraved communities under the category of the HIV/ Aids patients.
In the light of the HIV/ Aids and Tuberculosis association, there has been a considerable growing concern in public health debate that seeks extreme measures to address the situation. The superimposition of each on the other is a critical matter of public health policy that demands critical evaluation and attention. The legal and ethical principles that shape public health policy were thrown into disarray because of the underlying biological and epidemiological matrix that began to play out (Beyer & Dupuis, 1995; Gostin & Powers, 2006). The exacerbated considerations and limits in the ethical and legal considerations have also strained policy and aspect of individual civil rights and privileges due to measures put in place as being punitive in nature and draconian. The power of the state to rightfully exercise power against the will of the citizenry emerged under such critical moments when leaving patients enjoy freedoms actually exposed uninfected individuals to danger. It was on this reasoning that a new ethical foundation was derived which spelled drastic measures regarding infected persons.
The authors contend that a vigorous health policy regarding Tuberculosis needs to capture the various physiological facets surrounding the perpetuation of the disease (Beyer & Dupuis, 1995). This is because it is important that they have a greater impact in achieving rectitude to the menace (Buchanan, 2008). For instance, contagious and non contagious patients need to be identified and treated to relevant legislative considerations if the questions of civil liberties are evoked. The history of public health restrictions and civil liberties is a long one and most of the time there are not permanent moralistic yardsticks and benchmarks that can be permanently impressed on the legislative functions of the government. For this reason, sporadic and often drastic measures and rulings have been the scenario (Beyer & Dupuis, 1995; Gostin, 2006). Forced medication rules have been enacted and various responses have elicited public outrage. Categorical imperatives regarding special...
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