Opinion Number. 727

Subject

QUARANTINE: COMMONWEALTH IMMUNITY FROM STATE LAWS WHETHER QUARANTINE OFFICERS ARE SUBJECT TO STATE HEALTH LAWS REQUIRING NOTIFICATION OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES

Date
Client
The Director of Quarantine

The Director of Quarantine has forwarded for advice the following memorandum:

I shall be glad if you will advise me as to the responsibilities resting upon quarantine officers to notify cases of infectious diseases under the various State Health Acts.

As you are aware the State Health Acts require that medical practitioners, becoming aware of the existence of cases of certain specified infectious diseases, shall notify the same to the nearest local authority, or in some cases to the Commissioner of Public Health. Notification is also obligatory under the Regulations of the Quarantine Act. The quarantine officer therefore becomes acquainted with the existence of cases of infectious diseases as a result of the powers included in the Regulations under the Quarantine Act, and advice is now sought as to whether he is obliged to himself in turn notify the State authorities.

A further memorandum states that some of the officers concerned have the right of private practice and some have not.

In my opinion quarantine officers have no liability to report the existence of cases of infectious diseases if the knowledge of that existence comes into their possession by virtue of their employment as Commonwealth officers.

[Vol. 14, p. 391]

(1) This date is attributed. The opinion is undated in the openion book, but its position, in relation to adjacent openions, suggests a Date in July 1916.