We discuss two patients with infectious tuberculosis who underwent compulsory isolation and treatment without their consent. We describe the threat to the patient's rights, i.e. the right of freedom, the right of autonomy and the right of protection of the integrity of the body. We describe the application of the relevant laws and of the differing safeguards, and discuss the unlimited length of the Dutch Public Health Act orders. We refer to a Dutch statement and the WHO ethics guidelines on the implementation of their End TB Strategy. Forced isolation may be the last resort to protect society from patients with infectious diseases who do not comply with isolation measures, but compulsory treatment for tuberculosis patients is considered unacceptable. We suggest an amendment of the Dutch Public Health Act to enable better protection of the rights of tuberculosis patients.

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Persistent URL hdl.handle.net/1765/111474
Journal Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde
Bakker, M. (Marleen), & Plomp, E. (Emke). (2018). Binnen de grenzen van de wet? Within the limits of the law? Compulsory isolation and compulsory treatment for tuberculosis. Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde, 162. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/111474