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Denver: Junkie Nurse Infected Patients With Hepatitis C
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Post Denver: Junkie Nurse Infected Patients With Hepatitis C 


http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/07/03/hospital.employee.arrest/index.html

A surgical technician who contracted Hepatitis C from heroin use has admitted stealing drugs from Denver hospital patients and using her own infected needles on them. A number of her former patients have tested positive for Hepatitis C, and the hospital is currently reaching out to others to be tested.

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good argument here for several changes

* regular checkups for all hospital workers for infectious diseases, same way truck drivers are drug tested.

* regular drug testing for hospital workers. cops, judges, prosecutors and politicians, too, while we're at it.

* free no questions asked needle exchanges

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Municipal employees already have drug and alcohol testing policies in place, but I believe that management has to show cause before they can require the tests. Unless the testing is part of a negotiated labor agreement, you would probably run into a 4th Amendment problem, since such testing is considered to be a "search and seizure" that requires a search warrant from a judge in most cases.

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I might point out that generic "drug testing" is basically worthless as all it does is sort out who smokes pot and who doesn't. One generally doesn't get crazy incurable blood diseases from smoking pot.

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thrice wrote:
Municipal employees already have drug and alcohol testing policies in place, but I believe that management has to show cause before they can require the tests. Unless the testing is part of a negotiated labor agreement, you would probably run into a 4th Amendment problem, since such testing is considered to be a "search and seizure" that requires a search warrant from a judge in most cases.


I don't get it.

Lots of people are subject to regular and random testing for drugs. Makes perfect sense for certain jobs - truck driver, bus driver, people operating heavy equipment, etc.

Seems like hospital staff is an obvious next one.

Desk working corporate employee, not so much. But lots of them are drug tested too.

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It all comes down to the labor agreement.

Any search and seizure without a warrant is considered unconstitutional except for a few specific exceptions, at least for criminal prosecution purposes.

"No warrant shall issue except upon probable cause"

Therefore, the only way you can get around that is by a voluntary waiver of that right. Agreement to a labor contract can include that waiver, and I'm sure those jobs that allow it have negotiated that voluntary agreement as a term of employment. Baseball has it too- it's part of the collective bargaining agreement. They can't prosecute you for refusing, but they can fire you if you do.

We also allow it for drivers, under the Implied Consent law, which says that you accept the right of police to demand a drug/alcohol test FOR CAUSE as a condition of getting a driver's license. You refuse, and they take your license away.

Long story short is that a search of the body and taking of bodily product is considered to be extremely invasive, and there are lots of legal hoops to jump before you can require someone to do it.

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