A tuberculosis patient who refused medical treatment – a decision that could have been lethal to himself and a public health danger – will have another chance to comply with the Richmond County health department.
At a hearing Friday at the Richmond County jail, Superior Court Judge Sheryl B. Jolly decided to
give Richard Pearre Jr. a second chance.
Earlier in the week, Jolly issued an order for Pearre’s arrest under the state law that gives the court authority to have a person who poses a public health threat arrested and involuntary committed to a medical facility for treatment.
On Friday morning, attorney John Manton was appointed to represent Pearre. If Pearre again refuses to comply with medical treatment, Manton will represent him at a
hearing before Jolly would order an involuntary commitment of up to two years.
The Richmond County Board of Health petitioned the court for assistance in Pearre’s case.
Pearre was diagnosed with TB in January. Though he initially complied with treatment, on April 2 he refused to continue taking the daily doses required for the drug regimen needed to effectively treat TB.
If a patient stops taking the medication before the regimen is finished, he can develop a strain of TB that is drug resistant, and
the patient can become infectious again, according to earlier court testimony.