Judge Denies Release of TB Patient Jailed for Halting His Treatment
At a hearing on Wednesday, a San Joaquin County Superior Court judge denied tuberculosis patient Armando Rodriguez's request for release a week after he was arrested for not complying with TB treatment orders, the Stockton Record reports (Goldeen, Stockton Record, 5/24).
Last week, authorities arrested Armando Rodriguez -- who has active pulmonary TB -- and charged him with refusing to comply with a public health order to be at home at certain times and make appointments to take medication.
According to authorities, Rodriguez said he had consumed large amounts of alcohol and methamphetamines and stopped TB treatment because he did not want to hurt his liver.
Ginger Wick, nursing director for San Joaquin County, wrote in a letter requesting an arrest warrant for Rodriguez that he could become contagious because he had not complied with the treatment order.
Each of the charges that Rodriguez faces carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail (California Healthline, 5/17).
Details of Hearing
At the hearing, Deputy Public Defender Timothy Garrigan told Judge Brett Morgan that Rodriguez has been taking his medications regularly and is willing to continue taking them. He also said Rodriguez is willing to comply with public health rulesÂ related toÂ treatment though Jan. 13, 2013.
In addition, Garrigan said that public health officials "have not looked at alternatives" to incarcerating Rodriguez.
However, Morgan said he was not comfortable releasing Rodriguez on his own recognizance because of his past behavior and addictions to methamphetamines and alcohol.
Rodriguez entered a plea of not guilty at the hearing.
Following the plea, Morgan set a June 15 start date for the trial (Stockton Record, 5/24).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.