While you might think that your health is your own gosh darn business — and it is, to some extent — when you’re wandering out there in the world with an infectious and potentially fatal disease, your health is everyone’s business. So when one man refused treatment and left the hospital, he ended up with police on his trail.
The man was wanted by Stockton, Calif. police for failing to comply with health officers to treat his tuberculosis, reports USA Today, after he was diagnosed in March at a hospital with the disease.
Authorities say the man, a transient, refused medical orders for treatment and left the hospital. Hospital staff reportedly told him to stay in a motel room nearby where a health worker could bring him medication and ensure he’d take it.
Instead, he skipped out, prompting a hunt by authorities who were worried about the health risk he posed to the public.
“If he doesn’t want the treatment, we can’t force the treatment but we can force that he’s not with other people to infect them,” the county public health director said at the time.
Police caught up with him this week and charged him with one misdemeanor count of refusing to comply with a tuberculosis order. He could face up to a year in prison as a result.