The legal and ethical implications of involuntary detention of drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) patients in South Africa
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With South Africa battling a TB/HIV epidemic that is one of the highest in the world, drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) has been an issue of concern lately, due to its virulence and potential fatality. DR-TB is usually as a result of poorly controlled/treated TB and when persons with this deadly strain of TB do not take precautions to prevent infecting others, certain stringent measures should be adopted. Involuntary Detention (ID) has been introduced in certain quarters, and this paper attempts to analyse the ethico-legal implications of such an action in South Africa. It is submitted, ab-initio that ID has been a part of the South African legal landscape since 2010, but lacunae exist in terms of its enforceability and dissemination of knowledge vis a vis its application. It is hoped that the recommendations offered here will help in no small measure towards bridging these gaps.