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Healthcare workers w/HIV
Apr 21, 2004

I am currently doing and argument paper for my Engl class and my argument is: Should Healthcare workers have to tell their patients that they have tested positive for HIV?

My question is are healthcare workers(nurses, doctors,etc..) required to let their patients know or are they prevented from working with patients and needles?

Response from Ms. Breuer

Here's the most important question you can ask yourself--then answer in your paper: if patients knew that their healthcare workers had HIV, what could or should the patients do differently?

You should be coming up with a big silence.

No, they do not have to tell their patients. They are not injecting their own blood into patients. The greatest risk to healthcare workers--positive or negative--is patients. The risk goes the other way from what your question assumes. When nurses get stuck, it's with needles recently used on patients. Healthcare workers are around sick people all the time, and around their blood. Who's at risk?

The only procedures that many HIV-positive healthcare workers are prohibited from doing on patients are called blind invasive procedures. Those decisions are made by hospital boards, not by legislatures (thank heavens).



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