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Master's Professional Reports Abstract



Diabetes and the Commercial Truck Driver: Public Safety versus Right to Work
Bollinger, Paul David
REPORT 1999 B6386 Public Affairs Library

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations state that "a person is physically qualified to drive a motor vehicle if that person has no established medical history or clinical diagnosis of diabetes mellitus currently requiring insulin for control." This federal regulation prohibits many insulin-using diabetics from making a living in their chosen profession.

Complications of diabetes combined with driving a vehicle can create a dangerous if not deadly situation. At the same time, not all people react to their disease in the same way. Therefore, the federal government is left to balance the public safety with an individual's right to work.

The next several pages will recount the history and background of the blanket-ban on interstate commercial drivers who use insulin to treat their diabetes. Further, I will demonstrate why the bans should be overturned.