With the advent of AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) has come an enormous increase in lawsuits concerning discrimination in the areas of employment, housing, health care, insurance, and education. In addition, tort actions have been brought for the wrongful death of AIDS patients and for alleged negligence in exposing others to the disease. Because receiving transfused blood is a recognized cause of AIDS, blood banks, and inevitably blood donors, are sometimes viewed as having proximately caused the AIDS victim's agonizing death. Consequently, when the suspected source of AIDS is transfused blood, the victim seeking legal recourse may often request the identities of the blood donors through discovery to determine if any of the donors have AIDS or are an AIDS carrier. Donor confidentiality and the right to avoid discovery is an issue. In evaluating the topic, this article is written exclusively for application to volunteer blood donor systems and does not address the rights of paid donors. The analysis parallels the approach of the Florida Court of Appeals by discussing the interests asserted by the plaintiff, the blood bank on behalf of its volunteer donors, and the state.
Cheryl R. Zwart,
AIDS: A Threat to Blood Donor Anonymity,
66 Neb. L. Rev.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol66/iss4/11