Judge Issues Arrest Warrant For Washington Woman Who Refused Treatment For Tuberculosis
A Washington State judge has issued an arrest warrant for a woman who has repeatedly refused medical treatment for her active and contagious case of tuberculosis.
During the 17th court hearing on the matter, the unidentified Tacoma woman again refused to comply with a court order to either isolate herself or go through testing and treatment, Ars Technica reported, noting that the woman’s objections to the proposed treatment are currently unknown.
Health officials in Washington state set to arrest a woman with tuberculosis after they said she has been avoiding treatment or isolation for over a year. https://t.co/LpmQSDZTmI
— ABC News (@ABC) March 1, 2023
Because of her refusal to comply with the order, originally issued on Jan. 19, 2022, Pierce County Superior Court Judge Philip Sorensen issued a civil warrant for the woman’s arrest and ruled that the woman will be jailed in an isolated area where she will undergo involuntary testing and treatment, according to Ars.
The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department condemned the woman for refusing to isolate and treat herself, accusing her of “knowingly, willfully, and contemptuously violat[ing] this court’s orders,” Ars reported.
The woman, they said, had continued to go about her daily life since being ordered to isolate and had put members of the public, as well as medical staff, at risk of contracting the disease by failing to disclose her contagious condition.
However, they also acknowledged that the woman may have refused treatment due to her lack of understanding, as suggested by the woman’s lawyer, but they pointed out that the court has repeatedly extended proceedings to provide her with interpreters who spoke her native language, as well as translated documents, according to Ars.
Upon the woman’s arrest, she will be held until health officials have decided that her condition is no longer a threat to herself or the public.