David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Medical Ethics 34 (3):184-187 (2008)
Currently, any dentist in the UK who is HIV-seropositive must stop treating patients. This is despite the fact that hepatitis B-infected dentists with a low viral load can continue to practise, and the fact that HIV is 100 times less infectious than hepatitis B. Dentists are obliged to treat HIV-positive patients, but are obliged not to treat any patients if they themselves are HIV-positive. Furthermore, prospective dental students are now screened for hepatitis B and C and HIV, and are not allowed to enrol on Bachelor of Dental Surgery degrees if they are infectious carriers of these diseases. This paper will argue that: (i) the current restriction on HIV-positive dentists is unethical, and unfair; (ii) dentists are more likely to contract HIV from patients than vice versa, and this is not reflected by the current system; (iii) the screening of dental students for HIV is also unethical; (iv) the fact that dentists can continue to practise despite hepatitis B infection, but infected prospective students are denied matriculation, is unethical; and (v) that the current Department of Health protocols, as well as being intrinsically unfair, have further unethical effects, such as the waste of valuable resources on ‘lookback’ exercises and the even more damaging loss of present and future dentists. Regulation in this area seems to have been driven by institutional fear of public fear of infection, rather than any scientific evidence or ethical reasoning.
|Keywords||Dentistry Infection HIV|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Mojalefa Johannes Koenane, Ethical Perspectives on Surveillance and Preventive Strategies for HIV/AIDS in South Africa.
Ruth Macklin (1991). HIV-Infected Psychiatric Patients: Beyond Confidentiality. Ethics and Behavior 1 (1):3 – 20.
Harold W. Jaffe (2009). Increasing Knowledge of Hiv Infection Status Through Opt-Out Testing. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 6 (2):229-233.
David Shaw (2010). Unethical Aspects of Homeopathic Dentistry. British Dental Journal 209 (10):493-496.
Don C. Des Jarlais, Paul A. Gaist & Samuel R. Friedman (1995). Ethical Issues in Research on Preventing HIV Infection Among Injecting Drug Users. Science and Engineering Ethics 1 (2):133-144.
Heta Häyry (1992). HIV and the Alleged Right to Remain in Ignorance. Social Philosophy Today 7:165-175.
Martin Gunderson, David J. Mayo & Frank S. Rhame (1996). Routine HIV Testing of Hospital Patients and Pregnant Women: Informed Consent in the Real World. Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 6 (2):161-182.
Yanguang Wang (2000). A Strategy of Clinical Tolerance for the Prevention of Hiv and Aids in China. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 25 (1):48 – 61.
Marilou Gagnon & Meryn Stuart (2009). Manufacturing Disability: HIV, Women and the Construction of Difference. Nursing Philosophy 10 (1):42-52.
Timothy F. Murphy (1994). Health Care Workers with Hiv and a Patient's Right to Know. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 19 (6):553-569.
Added to index2009-02-10
Total downloads55 ( #87,294 of 1,926,168 )
Recent downloads (6 months)9 ( #102,993 of 1,926,168 )
How can I increase my downloads?