Woman who refused TB treatment is in custody

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A Washington state woman who was diagnosed with tuberculosis has been taken into custody after months of refusing treatment or isolation, officials said on Thursday.

The Tacoma woman, who is identified in court documents as V.N., was booked into a room “specially equipped for isolation, testing and treatment” at the Pierce County Jail, the local health department said, adding that she will still be able to choose whether she gets the “live-saving treatment she needs.”

A judge first issued a civil arrest warrant for V.N. in March, 14 months after he’d first approved of the health department’s request to order the woman’s voluntary detention.

V.N.’s case represents only the third time in the past two decades that a court order has been necessary to execute treatment, the health department said.

Over the course of 17 hearings, health officials repeatedly asked the court to uphold its order for V.N.’s involuntarily detention, which consistently ruled that the health officials had made “reasonable efforts” to gain V.N.’s voluntary compliance with the law.

Officers began surveilling the woman in March, and at one point observed her “leave her residence, get onto a city bus and arrive at a local casino,” according to a sworn statement from the county’s chief of corrections.

Read more at NPR.org

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Chuck comes from a lineage of journalism. He has written for some of the webs most popular news sites. He enjoys spending time outdoors, bull riding, and collecting old vinyl records. Roll Tide!