Suits: You don’t have the freedom to walk around with tuberculosis
Feb 27, 2023, 2:34 PM | Updated: 2:54 pm
(AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A., File)
A Pierce County judge has issued an arrest warrant for a woman refusing treatment for an active tuberculosis case if she does not start treatment by Friday, March 3.
More than a year ago, she was ordered to remain isolated at home to keep her from spreading the bacterial infection. A Health Department spokesperson stated it is not clear why the woman is refusing treatment and testing.
Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection that spreads through the air, but not as easily as coronavirus, colds, or flu, according to the CDC. Pierce County logs approximately 20 active cases of tuberculosis each year on average.
Tuberculosis infections usually affect the lungs but can infect other parts of the body. It could lead to death if untreated but is treatable with medication, according to the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department. People with active, untreated infections are contagious and represent a risk to the community.
Bryan Suits, host of The Bryan Suits Show, talked about the implications of the warrant for the woman’s arrest and spoke about how he thinks that the issue is illustrative of the balance that society has created between freedom and security.
“People can agitate and stomp around about your civil rights and the whole thing, but the bottom line is, we as a civilization decided a long time ago there is no freedom to walk around with an infectious disease and possibly spread it to others,” Suits said.
Suits said that the role of a government could be seen in two ways, as a way to ensure freedoms or to ensure security. He made the distinction between China as a state that prioritizes security over freedom, and the United States, which prioritizes freedom.
He said that the issue comes when personal liberty infringes on the freedom of others not to get sick with a deadly disease, and therefore, it is alright that the warrant was issued in order to protect the community.
“I’m saying is for those of you like me on the freedom side of the aisle, you have to admit that you don’t have the freedom, you know, to throw highway flares in my yard or something, you don’t have the freedom to walk around Tacoma with TB,” Suits said.
You can listen to the full discussion from Suits here:
Listen to the Bryan Suits Show weekday mornings from 6–9 a.m. on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.