Q:

Why were blood tests required before marriage?

A:

Quick Answer

Premarital blood tests have been used to check people getting married for syphilis, rubella, HIV and sickle-cell anemia. The objective of such tests was to ensure the infected person got treated prior to infecting his or her partner or child. In the United States, premarital blood laws were enacted during the 1930s and 1940s when syphilis was considered a potential public health concern.

Know More
Why were blood tests required before marriage?
Credit: Rafe Swan Cultura Getty Images

Full Answer

Premarital blood test laws were written during an era when premarital sex was largely frowned upon, and the legislators writing those laws probably assumed that most sexual encounters happened within the confines of marriage. In contemporary culture, sexual encounters commonly take place both within and outside the bonds of marriage, making these tests largely irrelevant from a public health perspective.

As of April 2014, only the District of Columbia requires premarital blood tests for both partners; however, Montana requires females to get premarital blood tests, and in New York, African-American and Hispanic applicants have to get tested for sickle-cell anemia.

The reason Montana may still test its female residents is related to that fact that these tests often screened for rubella. Rubella can be deadly if passed from a mother to a fetus; however, even women in Montana can opt out of the testing with a waiver from a doctor.

Learn more in Biology

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the difference between legal separation and divorce?

    A:

    While a divorce is a permanent end to a marriage, a legal separation allows couples to remain married despite living separately, according to About.com. Couples can file joint taxes and maintain joint health insurance and military benefits when legally separated.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is Penicillin VK 500 used for?

    A:

    Penicillin VK 500 is used to treat bacterial infections such as syphilis, strep throat, pneumonia, pharyngitis, gingivitis, rheumatic fever and bacterial endocarditis, according to Drugs.com. Common side effects of this drug include headaches, vaginal discharge or itching and sores along the tongue or mouth.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are my legal rights as a parent with my 17-year-old son?

    A:

    According to the Connecticut General Assembly, parents are legally and financially responsible for their offspring until the age of 18. Parents are required to care for 17-year-old children and make major decisions including marriage, enlistment in the armed forces and major medical treatment. They must use reasonable force to control the behavior of their 17-year-old children. Parents can also engage law enforcement if the minor runs away from home.

    Full Answer >
  • Q:

    Why are biochemical tests used to identify bacteria?

    A:

    Biochemical tests are the quickest and easiest tests for identifying bacteria because they use deductive principles to reduce the number of possible species present very quickly. Additionally, because bacteria are microorganisms, visual identification is not always possible, and is never easy. Genetic testing is possible for some well-known bacteria, but it is expensive and time consuming.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore