No Blood Tests before Marriage?!!!!

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    Jul 31, 2009 7:18 AM GMT
    Here is a link to a chart of the states that do or do not require a blood test before marriage. I AM SHOCKED!!! I cannot believe in this day in time after AIDS and all the stds that are out there that every single last state does not require a blood test before marriage....this is absolutely ridiculous!!! WTF?

    The only states that require a blood test before marriage are....CT, DC, GA, Indiana, Mass, Miss, Montana, OK. I just cant believe they are the only ones...what do you think?

    http://usmarriagelaws.com/search/united_states/blood_test_requirements/index.shtml
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    Jul 31, 2009 11:11 AM GMT
    Why should marriage be conditional on someone's health? That seems incredibly unfair to the millions of people who already have STDs, HIV, etc.

    Are they supposed to stay single for life?
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    Jul 31, 2009 11:33 AM GMT
    Originally, most blood tests were for genetic compatibility of blood types. Some were/are for STD's. Massachusettes, for example only tests for syphilis and no other STD. Most of the reasons that the laws have been removed from the books is due to inequities and arbitrariness that is associated with antiquated ideas.

    It isn't as if there are many requirements for getting marriage licenses. Things like addictions, financial security, fidelity, or even sanity are requirements. Since these are states of being that are left up to the individuals to require or ignore, why should a blood test be the one issue that addressed.
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    Jul 31, 2009 11:44 AM GMT
    SeaSon saidWhy should marriage be conditional on someone's health? That seems incredibly unfair to the millions of people who already have STDs, HIV, etc.

    Are they supposed to stay single for life?

    Don't these tests also provide the blood type? (RH+ vs. -) Seems to me they once did, because a mismatch can put the unborn baby at risk. I believe modern medicine has greatly reduced that danger, compared to the earlier time when these tests were first instituted. Any health care professionals here know for sure?
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    Jul 31, 2009 11:53 AM GMT
    The blood test or serology was for syphilis. The serology was checked to protect the partner and also to prevent syphilis from being transmitted to the fetus. Being positive for syphilis, required treatment before marriage. A few states also included a test for rubella (German measles). HIV status is not checked prior to marriage. In April of this year the American College of Physicians recommended universal testing for HIV. This would test all Americans married or not. The CDC recommends that are pregnant women be tested for HIV. These are just recommendations and not Federal law.
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    Jul 31, 2009 1:44 PM GMT
    I'm not sure if they still do it today, but jews, before getting married, would be blood tested to make sure neither parent had carrier genes for tay-sacs (sp?) disease, so i think it makes sense for some couples who are about to get married, to do so (just in case they want to be prepared for offspring that MAY be abnormal).
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    Jul 31, 2009 2:01 PM GMT


    Oh gosh, there's no such requirement here.

    Too good bgcat57! "Things like addictions, financial security, fidelity, or even sanity are requirements. Since these are states of being that are left up to the individuals to require or ignore, why should a blood test be the one issue that addressed."

    ...very true. And common-law marriages require nothing, not even a license.


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    Jul 31, 2009 2:37 PM GMT
    SeaSon saidWhy should marriage be conditional on someone's health? That seems incredibly unfair to the millions of people who already have STDs, HIV, etc.

    Are they supposed to stay single for life?


    I think the point that REDBULL is trying to make is that an unknown illness will strain the relationship socially and economically. So it should be part of the decison process of marriage. Especially in the times we live in. So REDBULL are you going to start a PAC organization and start a campaign across the US to get State legislator's to introduce your draft of the blood test marriage law?
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    Jul 31, 2009 2:40 PM GMT

    My understanding is that in Massachusetts the requirement for a blood test before getting a marriage license has as much to do with alerting straight couples to the possibility of RH discordance (which could have implications for any future pregnancy) as it does for STD's.
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    Jul 31, 2009 2:45 PM GMT
    muchmorethanmuscle saidWell, that's not all that practical. Look at all the babies made from people who are not married.

    And imagine all the babies born before modern science even knew about things like disease and RH factor. Which may account for the very high infant mortality rate that once was common until more recent times, and still exists in undeveloped parts of the world.
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    Jul 31, 2009 2:48 PM GMT
    flieslikeabeagle said
    My understanding is that in Massachusetts the requirement for a blood test before getting a marriage license has as much to do with alerting straight couples to the possibility of RH discordance (which could have implications for any future pregnancy) as it does for STD's.

    Well that's what I dimly remember was a major reason for this requirement being legally imposed by some states decades ago, when the consequence of RH type was first discovered.
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    Jul 31, 2009 2:56 PM GMT
    Having been actually married in Massachusettes in June 2004, I had to take the blood test (a requirement that they had eliminated from the law shortly thereafter). I had asked as to the purpose of it at the hospital where it was done, presuming that it was for RH factor. They told me it was only for syphilis and nothing else. That was the legal requirement and minimum. If you choose to be tested for anything else, it was your choice, but syphilis was the legal requirement and they couldn't test for anything else for the marriage blood test.

    It is a requirement that is purely a state issue.
  • zakariahzol

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    Jul 31, 2009 3:43 PM GMT
    When I get married in Michigan in 1989. We dont need to take blood test. Just a married class , talking about responsiblity and stuff. Then we make an appointment to get married, get 2 withneses and it all over. Anyway the married is a sham, and it lasted less then a year.
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    Jul 31, 2009 4:14 PM GMT
    hector2009 said
    SeaSon saidWhy should marriage be conditional on someone's health? That seems incredibly unfair to the millions of people who already have STDs, HIV, etc.

    Are they supposed to stay single for life?


    I think the point that REDBULL is trying to make is that an unknown illness will strain the relationship socially and economically. So it should be part of the decison process of marriage. Especially in the times we live in. So REDBULL are you going to start a PAC organization and start a campaign across the US to get State legislator's to introduce your draft of the blood test marriage law?



    that is basically the point I was making. I dont think anyone should be denied the license after the blood test. It just seems to me you always here of how much it is costing the govt, insurance companies and etc for healthcare for all these issues but no one is putting anything in order to help prevent this stuff or to just let people know they may have something.

    As I am learning alot of people dont get tested because they dont want to know. Is it a personal obligation to get tested and be responsible? Yes!! Do people do it? No. because they are scared. They would rather not know.

    Furthermore the more people know their status the more we learn about the disease and can treat it even more effectively. I am just trying to think of innocent parties that will be subjected to this unknowingly, even though I know it is up to them to protect themselves. It just seems foolish to not require this.

    And yes to answer your question about am I evenutally gonna do something about stuff like this. I have just recently found out about being poz. I am having some health issues, but hopefully in the next few weeks it will be cleared up, I will be on meds and be alot better. Once I get myself straightened out I do want to get involved and use this to educate others. If I can do something to prevent one person from getting this, it will be worth it to me.

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    Jul 31, 2009 4:24 PM GMT
    I was just thinking, some states had rules requiring blood test. What was the catalyst for removing the rule/law? Was it pressure from one group? If so who? Was it a monetary issue? icon_question.gificon_question.gificon_question.gif

    Can any of the RJ legal scholars answer?
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    Jul 31, 2009 5:16 PM GMT
    hector2009 saidI was just thinking, some states had rules requiring blood test. What was the catalyst for removing the rule/law? Was it pressure from one group? If so who? Was it a monetary issue? icon_question.gificon_question.gificon_question.gif

    Can any of the RJ legal scholars answer?


    I'm not a legal scholar, but I'm in the medical field.
    A premarital serology is no longer required because the test was for syphilis. The serology was a relic from the time that there were no antibiotics for syphilis. The purpose of the test was to prevent a fetus from getting incurable congenital syphilis. The requirement persisted long after there was no need for the test.
    A better way to protect the fetus is to test all pregnant women for contagious diseases and genetic disorders. My niece, when pregnant, was tested for HIV, Hepatitis C and B, syphilis and some other STD's. Rh-factor was checked. There was also a panel of tests run for genetic disorders.
    Testing only people that are getting married is going to miss a lot of infants.
    Almost 40% of U.S. births in 2007 occurred among unmarried women, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.
    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/150155.php
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    Jul 31, 2009 5:31 PM GMT

    Sounds like it would be a common sense to do on one's own.
    Of course, the people that don't, I'm betting they've already consummated the marriage many times already. icon_redface.gif

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    Jul 31, 2009 6:11 PM GMT
    I think the question is less about whether people should get tested. It's obviously in their own interest to know their status and their partner's. However, making testing a legal requirement is problematic.

    Caring for your health is a deeply personal decision and people should have the right to live in ignorance, if they wish.

    I think it would be better to recommend testing, than make it a requirement.
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    Jul 31, 2009 6:19 PM GMT
    SeaSon saidI think the question is less about whether people should get tested. It's obviously in their own interest to know their status and their partner's. However, making testing a legal requirement is problematic.

    Caring for your health is a deeply personal decision and people should have the right to live in ignorance, if they wish.

    I think it would be better to recommend testing, than make it a requirement.


    That's just it. It's ok to live in ignorance when your on your own but if your partnered the other person has a right to disclosure since it impacts them as well. We go back to the original question: should it be legally mandatory in marriage licensing process. I believe yes whether or not the relationship has already been consumated.

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    Jul 31, 2009 6:38 PM GMT
    I agree, but one of the bases for relationships should be trust and communication. If a couple doesn't have that, no law in the world will protect what happens next (affairs, financial risk taking, etc., etc.)
  • Anto

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    Jul 31, 2009 6:43 PM GMT
    Required lood tests before marriage is a waste of time, resources, and a violation of privacy in regard to the couple. Maybe if people never had children or sex (all forms of sex) before marriage, but how far from reality is that?

    I don't think it forbids them to get married. They simply have to procure the results and present them in order to get the license.

    That seems pretty forbidding to me!


    We go back to the original question: should it be legally mandatory in marriage licensing process. I believe yes whether or not the relationship has already been consumated.

    That doesn't make sense though because the protection that is suppose to be afforded by the test has already been lost if people are already having sex before marriage. If marriage requires biological testing, then it should be realistically done and test for a large number of diseases, including genetic testing. Why not psychological testing as well?
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    Jul 31, 2009 6:50 PM GMT

    Some of you guys advocating, the right to be ignorant, have probably never balled your eyes out watching any show about babies born with AIDS. icon_cry.gif
  • Anto

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    Jul 31, 2009 6:59 PM GMT
    There are a lot of other reasons one could ball their eyes out because of what a baby has been born into that are not tested for before allowing a couple to be married or even that is considered 'ok'.

    The point is that it's going to happen regardless if people are tested or not and it's POINTLESS to do it as a marriage requirement. What protection does it realistically afford? It's not like people won't have kids unless they are married first. It's not like people are going to not have sex before marriage, or even sex with other people AFTER marriage. People don't even have children who get married.

    It's just an unnecessary invasion of privacy.
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    Jul 31, 2009 7:03 PM GMT
    There's a difference between having a right to ignorance and it being the right thing to do.

    In the case of having a baby and not testing for STDs, that's irresponsible. Then again, so is smoking, drinking, doing drugs, etc., etc. People have to have a certain sense of personal responsibility. The law can't dictate everything.
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    Jul 31, 2009 7:05 PM GMT

    Since when is prevention contingent on whether or not something is going to happen or not? If as you say, it won't make a difference, what is the harm in implicating it?