Tacoma, WA Woman with Tuberculosis Who Refuses Treatment Will Be Arrested for Treatment on Friday

Washington – A Tacoma woman with tuberculosis will be arrested on Friday for treatment unless she voluntarily complies with a court order to resume taking medication or isolate.

According to KOMO News, the woman has been avoiding treatment or isolation for TB for a year.

The woman, who was under an involuntary order to take medication for TB, didn’t finish her treatment.

The health department was granted numerous court orders over the last year in an effort to get the woman to receive treatment.

Another court hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

KOMO News reported:

A Tacoma woman who has been avoiding treatment or isolation for tuberculosis (TB) for over a year will be arrested Friday and put into isolation for treatment unless she voluntarily complies.

On Feb. 24, the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department went before Judge Philip Sorenson for a 16th time in an attempt to get the woman to comply with the judge’s order that she either resume taking her medication or voluntarily isolate herself.

The woman was under an involuntary isolation order from Dec. 25, 2022, to Feb. 8, 2023. In the order, health officials said the woman started treatment. However, she left before treatment was complete.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the treatment process can take three to nine months. People who end treatment early can also develop antibiotic resistance.

The woman will now be arrested on Friday after Sorenson issued a civil warrant for her arrest. The health department said she will be taken to a specially designated facility at the Pierce County Jail for isolation, testing, and treatment.

However, if the woman complies before Friday, the health department said they may ask the court to lift the arrest warrant. Another court hearing is scheduled for Thursday.