That is, a jury has ruled that a mother who was aware her son had AIDS should have told his fiancee; she didn't, and now she owes the ex $2 million (the son is dead). Personally, I think anyone with a deadly disease who would purposefully endanger someone else without their knowledge is guilty of attempted murder, at the very least. The question is, should the mother be civilly liable for not intervening?

In my opinion, no, although the mother certainly had a moral responsibility to warn her prospective daughter-in-law. If the son had been plotting to kill his fiancee with a gun and the mother found out, would she have been legally required to intervene? No. Laws vary from state to state, but with few exceptions people are not required to help others even in cases of imminent danger (sometimes called Good Samaritan Laws, although that term is also used for other purposes).

Further supporting my position in this particular instance is the fact that medical information is generally allowed the strictest possible confidentiality.

"It would have been a violation of Illinois law for these parents to tell this woman of their son's HIV status," said Ann Hilton Fisher, executive director of the AIDS Legal Counsel (search) of Chicago.
It's an awful circumstance, but the criminal here is the dead man, not his mother.



Email blogmasterofnoneATgmailDOTcom for text link and key word rates.

Site Info