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Should Rapid Tests for HIV Infection Now Be Mandatory During Pregnancy? Global Differences in Scarcity and a Dilemma of Technological Advance

Developing World Bioethics, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 86-103, 2007

18 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2009  

Charles B. Smith

University of Utah

Margaret Pabst Battin

University of Utah - Department of Philosophy

Jay A. Jacobson

University of Utah - School of Medicine

Leslie P. Francis

University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law

Date Written: December 7, 2009

Abstract

Rapid tests for HIV can now provide real-time assessment of the HIV status of pregnant women presenting inactive labor. They thus provide important information about the need for prophylactic treatment to reduce the likelihood of disease transmission during delivery. Although the need for treatment to protect the child is a strong argument for mandatory testing, in this article we contend that the ethical situation is more complex. The availability of treatment for the HIV woman herself and the possibility that knowledge of her HIV status might put her in physical or economic jeopardy are especially important factors that must weigh in the balance of any decision to mandate rapid testing.

Suggested Citation

Smith, Charles B. and Battin, Margaret Pabst and Jacobson, Jay A. and Francis, Leslie P., Should Rapid Tests for HIV Infection Now Be Mandatory During Pregnancy? Global Differences in Scarcity and a Dilemma of Technological Advance (December 7, 2009). Developing World Bioethics, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 86-103, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1520155

Charles B. Smith

University of Utah ( email )

1645 E. Campus Center
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
United States

Margaret Pabst Battin

University of Utah - Department of Philosophy ( email )

215 South Central Campus Dr.
Carolyn Tanner Irish Humanities Building
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
United States
(801) 581-6608 (Phone)
(801) 585-5195 (Fax)

Jay A. Jacobson

University of Utah - School of Medicine ( email )

30 N 1900 E
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
United States
(801) 408-1135 (Phone)

Leslie P. Francis (Contact Author)

University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law ( email )

383 S. University Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0730
United States

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