TB Patient Spends Nine Months In Lockdown

ACLU questions forcible quarantine of man with drug-resistent TB
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2007 4:57 PM CDT
Germs   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – A tuberculosis patient has been in forced quarantine in an Arizona hospital's jail ward for nine months for failing to wear a face mask and take his medication. Robert Daniels committed no crime, but neither did he follow doctor's orders to avoid transmission of his drug-resistant TB. 

The homeless man is confined by court order to a sealed room; for an interview with the LA Times he wore handcuffs, leg irons and a face mask. "For us, it's all about keeping the germs away from other people," a county official said. "When it's someone who's demonstrated they can't do that voluntarily, they need to be in a setting that's secure." The ACLU is filing a motion on Daniels' behalf.