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Locked up TB patient is unable to testify

Locked up TB patient is unable to testify

A tuberculosis patient locked up for nine months and under quarantine inside a Phoenix hospital jail ward will continue to be held under the same conditions, a judge has ruled.
Robert Daniels, 27, had to listen to a court proceeding Tuesday over a telephone because of his contagious disease. He was not allowed to testify on his behalf after county health officials accused him of being dishonest and an irresponsible health threat.
At one point, Daniels became angry when Maricopa County Court Commissioner Randy Ellexson refused to let him challenge testimony given by a health worker.
Dan Pochoda, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, blasted the government during Tuesday's court hearing for treating a sick man as a criminal.
"This is a continuing violation of Mr. Daniels' rights," he said. "He is being treated worse than felons in the Department of Corrections. He has not seen the outside, your honor, in eight or nine months. He has not been allowed to have a shower in eight or nine months."
Dr. Maricela Moffitt, a Health Department TB specialist, spent more than an hour Tuesday describing Daniels' medical history and portraying the patient as deceitful. She said Daniels caused treatment problems by initially lying about his disease. Later, she said, he skipped medications and violated voluntary quarantine by going out in public.
According to court records, Daniels refused to abide by medical rules while living at a sanitarium in Phoenix. He has been a prisoner at the Maricopa Medical Center since August when he was declared a public safety threat. Guarded by a sheriff's officer, his lights have been on 24 hours a day and he is constantly monitored by video. For months, Daniels was denied a phone, television set or other comforts.
Daniels lived in Russia for 15 years and returned to the United States last year after he was diagnosed. Daniels said he thought he would get better treatment here, and hoped eventually to bring his wife and children from Russia. He said he briefly worked in an office in Arizona for a chemical company before he was put away.
Ellexson kept Daniels' quarantine conditions intact and advised Pochoda to file a written motion if he wished to challenge them.


Updated : 2021-04-14 01:38 GMT+08:00